9,155,961 – this was the exact number of departing and arriving passengers at Budapest Airport in 2014. Thus, the earlier record of 8.9 million passengers in 2011 has been surpassed by a large margin. The dynamic growth of passengers was spread evenly throughout the year, from which seven months generated all-time records in the history of Budapest Airport (February, March, April, May, June, November and December). The share of non-Schengen traffic increased to a healthy 36 %, which reduces the dependence of Budapest Airport on intra-European traffic.
The average load factor of airlines also rose to a record 79 %, which highlights the ever-growing demand amongst tourists and business travelers for visiting Budapest and Hungary. This high figure also makes flights to Budapest very attractive for airline operators, and provides a good basis for further improvements. Early forecasts by Budapest Airport’s aviation experts indicate a further traffic increase for 2015, to surpass 9.6 million passengers. With constantly increasing passenger numbers, Budapest Airport also managed to further improve the travel experience for passengers – a fact reflected in record high ratings given by travelers in the anonymous satisfaction surveys (ASQ) conducted on behalf of ACI (Airports Council International).
“We are extremely proud of the records reached in 2014, and see this as a result of our three years of effort to bring new airlines and new flights to Budapest. This is also the joint achievement of all those involved in the tourism industry, from airlines through travel agencies and hotels to our strategic partner, the national tourism organization (HNTO),” said Jost Lammers, the CEO of Budapest Airport. He added: “This robust growth enables us to continue our airport modernization and development program, worth over 15 million euros just this year. We will build a new maintenance hangar for Wizz Air in Budapest, and will modernize our instrument landing system (ILS). With this dynamic growth in passenger numbers, the airport and its related enterprises remain the largest employer in the Southern Pest region.”
For the summer of 2015, Budapest Airport has announced the renewal of transatlantic flights by Canadian carrier Air Transat, the addition of the 9th Budapest-based aircraft by Wizz Air to its local fleet, the start of new flights to Spain by Iberia and another Spanish carrier Vueling commencing flights from Barcelona and Rome-Fiumicino.
“2015 is also set to be a bumper year, thanks to the huge boost in tourist numbers, driving new airlines to enter and existing ones to expand their operations. We expect more than 9.6 million passengers this year, which is great for the Hungarian economy, and is also a major boost for employment, especially in the hotel and tourism industry. We also continue to improve our services in all areas, ranging from airport parking, through digital information platforms to passenger-oriented commercial services in our terminals,” said Kam Jandu, chief commercial officer for Budapest Airport.