Budapest Airport and the air cargo handling complex called BUD Cargo City, which has been operating since January 2020, were one of the bastions in the fight against the pandemic in 2020.
6,188 air cargo flights were handled in 2020, 17.6 percent more than in 2019. The volume of air cargo thus reached 134,459 tons in 2020, recording a decrease of only 0.8 percent compared to the previous year.
Roughly 6 percent of last year’s cargo traffic was medical charter flights carrying medical aid and other medical supplies, which accounted for about 350 dedicated flights in 2020, complementing the important role of scheduled cargo air connections.
The fact that Budapest Airport’s cargo traffic was able to remain stable in this extraordinary year is due to the exemplary position of the cargo community; we remain determined to maintain the airport’s organizing and supporting role in this work, Dr. Rolf Schnitzler, CEO of Budapest Airport said. He noted that managing airport air traffic requires a lot of players, precise coordination and a strong base like BUD Cargo City.
We remain committed to the continuous development of air cargo and BUD Cargo City, and we will begin preparations for the second phase, designing and building additional handling facilities, warehouses and offices, the CEO added.
József Kossuth, head of BUD cargo, added that they have a number of further development projects underway, such as supporting the digitization needs of the cargo community or the introduction of the CEIV Pharma air freight quality assurance system for medicines, which is already in the implementation phase of IATA (the International Air Transport Association) in Hungary. The airport and BUD Cargo City will be a world-class, efficient and sustainable gateway for Central and Eastern European air cargo traffic, continuing to support the national economy, Kossuth added.
In 2020, Budapest Airport was able to celebrate the launch of three new dedicated cargo flights to Seoul (Korean Air), Shenzhen (Cargolux) and Zhengzhou (Hainan Airlines).
In 2020, Turkish Cargo chose BUD Cargo City as its Eastern European headquarters, increasing its number of flights to four a week, while Qatar Airways Cargo announced that it would continue to operate a larger aircraft type, a Boeing 777, at the end of the year.
Budapest Airport also expects to launch further new cargo routes in the near future, including in 2021.