Good year for cargo at BUD

Enjoying a good year of cargo growth, Budapest Airport is setting itself up for further growth opportunities with a new Cargo City currently under construction. By Donald Urquhart.

Asian and US tradelanes helped Budapest Airport (BUD) meet its targets for cargo throughput during 2010 with 82,638 tonnes and a total of 5,808 freighter movements in the year ending 31 December. This represents a 32 per cent increase yearon- year and a 23 per cent increase in freighter ATMs. “The result was satisfying in what has been a turbulent year,” commented Budapest Airport vice president cargo and logistics, Christa Soltau, who noted that performance overall was close to that of 2007, when movements were at an all time high. Highlights of the year included confirmation from Cargolux that it would add a fifth weekly 747-400F flight from Hong Kong, reflecting enhanced demand for direct cargo services to Asia. Strong markets for cargo in 2010 were led by Asia and the US, the airport said in a statement adding it expected these volumes to grow this year with new regular passenger services coming from the US – New York with American Airlines in April and Delta Airlines reinstating its services from June. A new flight linking Budapest with the Middle East was also launched by Qatar Airways in January 2011. Each departure of Qatar Airways’ new three-times weekly Airbus A320 flights to Doha, for example, is capable of accommodating eight tonnes of cargo in the belly hold. During 2010 there were very few diversions owing to weather for the airport, while Budapest Airport accepted a number of aircraft diversions itself because of poor weather elsewhere. “This was testimony to years of experience in operating under extreme winter conditions and having invested in the right equipment,” the airport said.