The agreement was signed by Budapest Airport, the Chinese Henan Airport Group and the CECZ/Utlink Chinese-Hungarian business and logistics development company on Tuesday.
László Mosóczi, state secretary at the Ministry of Innovation and Technology, said at a press conference on Tuesday that the cooperation agreement signed on the connection of the two airports could result in important economic opportunities and a significant expansion of air cargo traffic between Hungary and China. It could also bring significant and mutual logistical benefits to Hungary, other Central and Eastern European countries, and China. All parties support free and fair global trade, which has become more important than ever because of the epidemic and for the restart of the economy, he added.
Mosóczi recalled that the cooperation between the partners began in 2019 when a direct Budapest-Zhengzhou (CGO) air cargo flight was launched three times a week. It was organized by the CECZ/Utlink group and operated by Hainan Airlines. At the end of March 2021, the air connection was expanded with two more flights per week. It is an outstanding achievement that Alibaba’s logistics company, Cainiao, designated Budapest Airport as its air cargo distribution center in Central and Eastern Europe. It also means that deliveries increased significantly, to 15–20 tons of goods per day.
In line with the policy of opening up to the East, the government continues to work to connect continents and regions with modern and secure logistics solutions. They are also constantly looking for new opportunities to deepen and expand their cooperation with Chinese partners. The project could yield a new, dedicated logistics base at the airport in two to three years, he said.
Chris Dinsdale, CEO of Budapest Airport, said that BUD Cargo City, with a cargo handling capacity of up to 180,000 tons per year, would provide an excellent infrastructure environment for the start of the project. He mentioned that due to the significantly increasing volume of goods, the parties are currently negotiating the construction of a Chinese logistics and distribution center at Budapest Airport, which will be tens of thousands of square meters and would create the handling capacity for hundreds of thousands of tons of cargo per year.
Kang Shengchen, chairman of the Henan Airport Group, called the agreement just the first step in deepening the Chinese-Hungarian economic cooperation, the development of logistics and air relations, and the two countries’ cultural cooperation.
Budapest Airport announced that dedicated cargo-handling warehouses have already been established at Budapest and Chengzhou airports to handle traffic. The Budapest Exclusive Overseas Terminal was handed over at Henan Airport in February 2021, and a dedicated warehouse called Zhengzhou Exclusive Overseas Terminal was handed over at BUD Cargo City in Budapest on Tuesday.