Running for patients with heart disease *** Budapest Airport: Celebrates successful first six months of 2012 *** All development commitments fulfilled *** Budapest Airport-SSP: World-class food and beverage offer! *** Size Matters: Qatar flying to BUD with increased capacity *** Budapest Airport turns to the Constitutional Court over land tax *** Die Hard 5 at Budapest Airport! *** New system, improved parking at Budapest airport *** Menzies New Ticket Counter *** Celebi New Ticket Counter *** 2011, the year of social responsibility *** “We’ll become pilots or fire fighters” *** Budapest Airport launches environmentally friendly car wash service ***
“The void left by Malév offered numerous business opportunities for carriers both flying into or establishing bases at Budapest,” said Aviation Director Kam Jandu. “As a result, traffic is only 11% down on last summer and some 80% of the point to point traffic delivered by Malev was recovered within days.
“We remain committed to being the best and leading airport in the Central/Eastern European region and despite the loss of a major airline, it is pleasing to confirm that our summer 2012 programme is being operated by 33 airlines (compared with 33 last year), serving 88 destinations across 41 countries. As of the second quarter 2012, our airlines are enjoying an average load factor of 72.1% an increase of 3.8% on the same period in 2011.”
Six new airlines, 13 destinations added
To date this year, Budapest Airport has welcomed six new airlines and 13 new destinations have been added to the Budapest route map. A total 38 of the 58 destinations operated by Malev have been replaced.
- • Wizz Air basing their fifth and sixth aircraft at Budapest for launches on new routes like Dortmund and increasing frequencies on a wide range of existing destinations.
• Aegean Airlines, a new airline partner operating to Athens
• Jet2.com has added twice-weekly services to Leeds, UK
• airBaltic has commenced services to the Latvian capital of Riga
• Transavia has launched flights to Amsterdam
• Blue1 is now operating twice weekly flights to Helsinki in Finland
• Brit Air, a wholly owned subsidiary of Air France, has started services to Lyon Saint Exupéry in France
• Tarom has increased its Bucharest frequency to three times daily
• TAP has increased frequency to Lisbon from seven to eight flights per week.
In February, Ryanair announced its return to Budapest Airport and within months it positioned five aircraft at the airport, launching a total of 30 new routes to destinations across Europe, including, Birmingham, Lubeck, Malaga, Paphos, Alicante, Venice, Dusseldorf-Weeze and Billund. Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s CEO, described the re-launch of Ryanair’s services from Budapest Airport as: “Probably the most successful start-up ever for Ryanair.” In its first six weeks at Budapest, the airline flew more than 100,000 passengers through the airport and the airline has made a considerable contribution to the 71% increase in passenger numbers for the low cost sector at Budapest from January to June 2012 when compared to the first six months of 2011.
In a further boost to the airport, Budapest has been selected to host Routes Europe 2013. Budapest Airport, in partnership with the Hungarian National Tourist Office (together with the Hungarian Convention Bureau) and Budapest Tourism will host this key industry event next year, working together to give delegates an occasion to remember. The event will be staged at the SYMA Sport and Event Center in Budapest from 12-14 May 2013.
In its successful application to host Routes Europe 2013, Budapest Airport and its partners had to demonstrate the ability to suitably accommodate the event against some strong competition. “We are delighted to have been selected to host Routes Europe 2013,” said Budapest Airport CEO Jost Lammers. “We sincerely believe that Hungary and Budapest is a worthy venue for such a prestigious and recognised industry event. We aim to put on a great conference to guarantee delegates’ satisfaction for both business and leisure purposes.
Kam has already established a separate club on Facebook, also accessible from Budapest Airport’s Facebook page, in connection with the event due to be held in November. Thus, those who ‘like’ Budapest Airport can also follow the charity initiative lasting several months. Kam will regularly update his page with the latest news and the status of his preparations, and it will take just a click to join the increasing number of supporters. In parallel with tracking Kam’s preparations, it is also possible to sign up for the charity initiative. (This is a quite a usual feature of the world’s major marathon’s like London, New York and others) Kam’s page collecting donations in connection with the New York City Marathon is already accessible on JustGiving, a fundraising website specializing in collecting pecuniary and other donations online, which provides various ways of sending donations to the two foundations aiming to help cardiac patients.
Donations offered on the English and Hungarian language pages of JustGiving will be used to support the Hungarian Heart Diseases Children’s Hospital and the British Heart Foundation. The aim is to raise as much money as possible for each of the two foundations. The initiative will last until the start of the New York City Marathon in November. It is possible to make pecuniary and other donations through an online credit card transaction, via PayPal or even by text message. It is important to note that the technical solution required to collect donations for the Hungarian foundation is expected to be in place in the coming weeks. Until then, donations can already be offered in several different ways, as described on the website.
Budapest Airport fully supports Kam’s initiative as a company committed to corporate social responsibility and promoting healthy way of life as shown by numerous previous projects of this nature. Two years ago, five executives joined a charity initiative and collected donations for a bone marrow transplant with a 10 km airport run. In addition, Budapest Airport has provided support running into hundreds of millions of forints for neighboring municipalities and communities. Most recently, the company made a significant donation to the Department of Aircraft and Ships at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, which is a clear indication that even at a time of crisis, the airport operator still considers the various forms of corporate social responsibility to be important. Budapest Airport worked out a comprehensive strategy for responsible operation, also earmarking significant funds for such purposes, but due to the bankruptcy of Malév and the disproportionately large increase in land tax, it has been forced to review and temporarily suspend its donation policy.
“We are happy to support Kam’s efforts, because as a responsible company we believe it is important to support worthy causes, even under today’s difficult economic climate,” commented Jost Lammers, the CEO of Budapest Airport.
“Heart disease affects nearly everyone one way or another, if for no other reason, then because we all have family members or friends fighting such health problems. Unfortunately this has been the case with my family and myself as well during the past four years, which is one of the reasons why I decided to support this cause.” added aviation director Kam Jandu. “I am very hopeful that out of the more than 10 000 people who follow Budapest Airport, many more will join the initiative, whereby we can save lives together.”
A completely new building at Terminal 2 called the SkyCourt, a brand new baggage handling system, a new security perimeter fence for the airport, a secure and upgraded energy supply system, new runway and taxiway systems, a new IT network and an airport-based facility for the Hungarian Post. These are the major projects successfully concluded in the past five years at Budapest Airport under the Privatization Agreement of the airport. Budapest Airport continued the development of the airport facilities even during the days of the world-wide financial crisis of 2008-2010, at some points being the only major investment project in progress in Hungary.
The centerpiece of the airport developments is the SkyCourt, which has increased passenger service quality and the capacity of Budapest Airport to an estimated 10 million passengers/year in its present form, and has a further 50% enhancement capacity with further developments in the future. After the handover of the SkyCourt on 27 March 2011, the development team of Budapest Airport together with KÉSZ, the main contractor of the project, continued the internal refurbishment of Terminals 2A and 2B, which were completed this summer before the start of the holiday travel season. The investment program of Budapest Airport has created thousands of jobs in the construction industry in Hungary for years and after the opening of new airport facilities, further new jobs were created in the aviation, tourism, retail and catering industries of the country.
Besides the SkyCourt, Budapest Airport developed a state-of-the-art new airport security and surveillance system, a new baggage handling facility, more than 80,000 square meters of apron area (where aircraft are parked), improved runway and taxiway systems, developed the airport’s IT system and built new roads and parking areas. Budapest Airport completed its development program one-and-a-half years earlier than envisaged by the relevant agreements. The detailed progress report was handed over to MNV, the Hungarian National Asset Management Company, on 25 July 2012.
“Budapest Airport has proven to be a reliable partner in managing and developing the national airport and the gateway to Hungary. During the most critical times of the financial crisis and the collapse of Malév, the airport continued to fulfill its commitments and to invest into expanding and upgrading the airport infrastructure and improving service quality,” said Jost Lammers, the CEO of Budapest Airport. He added: “On top of this, prior to the Malév grounding, traffic growth and considerable tax payments were delivered and more than a thousand new jobs have been created at the airport since 2007. It is disappointing to experience that all these achievements are not acknowledged, as recent developments suggest. Budapest Airport, along with the aviation and tourism industry, has been punished with a land tax increase of more than 230%. Furthermore, exactly 6 months after the Malév collapse, the coveted traffic rights protected by the bilateral agreements of the Hungarian state have still not been awarded to new carriers. Also, new development and investment projects that the airport operator wants to carry out with the involvement of third parties are blocked due to bureaucracy and lack of interest by the Ministry of National Development. Our intended projects could add up to over 50 million euros and create several hundred new jobs when the country and region needs it most.”
The latest traffic forecast projects an approximately 10-13 decrease in passenger traffic for 2012 at Budapest Airport, while practically all transfer traffic has been lost (-99%). Air traffic movements are down by 20.2%, i.e. are at the level of the year 2002. The market share of the low cost carriers has gone up from 26 % last year to 53 % in July 2012.
“World’s best airport food and beverage – less than 10 m passengers” – this is the award bestowed upon Budapest Airport’s F&B offer by one of the most prestigious global publications on the travel retail industry, The Moodie Report. This is the first accolade for the airport since the opening of the SkyCourt in 2011 which is not of an architectural nature but is based on service quality at the terminal.
Budapest Airport joined a group of award-winning international airports which include Amsterdam Schipol, London Heathrow and Dublin Airport, which came out on top in other categories based on annual passenger traffic. The world’s largest F&B service providers operating at airports and railway terminals faced off for the awards in terms of quality and choice, including SSP Hungary, a company with an international ownership structure which operates three-quarters of the restaurants and bars at Budapest Airport.
It is important to note that Budapest was represented at the gala by SSP Hungary, thus the winning selection almost included the full range of food and beverages offered at Budapest Airport. Terminal 2 and its central passenger facility, the SkyCourt is home to numerous restaurants, cafés and bars, where the selection of products on offer and value for money are now amongst the best in Europe, according to international passenger surveys.
“We are very proud of this award, because when we compiled the F&B offer for the SkyCourt, we aimed to provide high-quality services that are affordable and offer great variety, since this was the demand from our passengers,” said Alan Bork, director consumer for Budapest Airport. “We congratulate our partner for the successful entry and thank them for winning such a prestigious award for Budapest Airport.”
Starting from August 2, Qatar Airways will increase the capacity of its planes flying to Budapest. The Doha based five star airline flies to BUD featuring 170 seats in Business Class and up to 165 seats in Economy. This allows Qatar Airways to deliver 38 more passengers with the extended body aircraft on the Doha-Budapest route. Whilst 220 passengers could be seated, passengers can look forward to exceptional levels of comfort as there are ‘only’ 182 seats featured by Qatar Airways.
It was only one and a half year ago that Qatar Airways launched its four weekly flights to Budapest with A320s. Thanks to the excellent service on board and the shorter journey to Asia, Australia and Africa, the new flight gained popularity very soon and from September 2011 there have been daily flights to Budapest. This capacity increase marks that the market confirms Qatar hopes of the BUD flight. Not only Middle East and Gulf Region destinations play a part in this but passengers flying with Qatar Airlines from Africa, Asia and Australia can reach their destinations 4-5 hours earlier than with transferring at a busy and crowded airport elsewhere in Europe.
Qatar Airways which is worthily named the five star airline of the world has proved once again that they do not sit around waiting. Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al-Baker was handed the ‘World’s Best Airline award by Skytrax for the second consecutive year at the Farnborough Air Show. The UK based Skytrax is the only global independent passenger survey monitoring airline standards and is considered the ultimate benchmark for excellence in the airline industry.
“I am extremely proud of the adulation given once again by the very people who fly - the travelling public, for their support and faith in Qatar Airways,” said Al Baker, speaking after being presented with the awards.
Qatar Airways CEO added: “Qatar Airways set out on a mission 15 years ago when we launched to be the world’s best airline and spread the airline’s quality brand to all corners of the world.” Qatar Airways introduced only a few days ago its Boeing 787 Dreamliner cabin, which is scheduled to enter its first long-haul commercial service on the Doha – London Heathrow route. The Doha-based airline is preparing to take delivery of five 787s during 2012. Qatar Airways’ new 787s will feature a total of 254 seats in a two-class configuration of 22 in Business Class and 232 in Economy. The new aircrafts with a flying distance up to 14500 kilometres will be used primarily on Qatar Airways' Far East routes.
According to Budapest Airport’s submission, the amount of land tax levied by the municipalities of Budapest District XVII and XVIII in 2012 violates the constitutional principle of the proportionate sharing of public burdens. The airport operator has therefore asked the Constitutional Court to adopt a position on the matter. In addition to local business tax, Budapest Airport is due to pay 2.25 billion HUF (!) in land tax this year alone, which amount is 330% of last year’s obligation. According to the airport operator’s legal position, the municipalities in question determined the amount of land tax in an undifferentiated manner and at a disproportionately high level. Ferenc Liszt International Airport has an area of 1515 hectares, most of which belongs to the administrative area of the municipalities managing the two capital districts.
Budapest Airport’s legal representatives emphasized that, due to the nature of its operation and its safety and security obligations, the airport must possess large areas of land which cannot be used for other purposes, such as agricultural production. Consequently, the land tax levied on the airport should have been determined in a proportionate manner, taking into account the ability of the company to bear public burdens. Budapest Airport is anyhow the largest taxpayer in the southern Pest region, having paid no less than 7 billion HUF into the central budget and to local municipalities in various taxes last year. On top of this, since the change of ownership in 2006 the airport operator has invested more than 265 million euros (approx. 76 billion HUF) into modernizing and expanding the airport infrastructure, thereby fulfilling its commitment towards the Hungarian state undertaken in the privatization.
Budapest Airport reiterates that the bankruptcy of the Hungarian national carrier Malév on 3 February 2012 pushed the entire Hungarian aviation sector into a protracted and deep crisis. Several thousand jobs were lost at the airport, with many more set to follow in the Hungarian hotel and tourism industry if nothing is done to manage the crisis. The disproportionately high land tax only served to exacerbate the position of the airport, which further damages the competitiveness of the Hungarian economy and of Budapest in the region.
Budapest Airport considers it a peculiar concurrence that one of the main beneficiaries of the land tax modification is Budapest District XVII, which, according to a survey analyzing the financial management of municipalities, amassed record levels of debt running into billions of forints last year. Of the 46 largest Hungarian municipalities examined by the Hungarian Progressive Institute, Budapest District XVII finished as the third most rapidly indebted local government in Hungary, having become indebted at a rate of 230% in the space of a single year. Its figure for indebtedness per capita increased by 209%, which is the fourth worst number amongst the municipalities examined. It was then in March this year the mayor of District XVII who proposed the modification disproportionate against Budapest Airport to Parliament in the first place, while Hungarian aviation and tourism were suffering from the Malév collapse.
“In order to manage the post-Malév crisis, Budapest Airport submitted a package of more than ten proposed measures to the ministry, which included significantly reducing the land tax burden of the airport. The answer to the proposal was rejection on the one hand and a further increase in land tax on the other, so the airport operator has been forced to take legal steps as well,” said Jost Lammers, the CEO of Budapest Airport, about the submission of the petition to the Constitutional Court. “As the largest taxpayer and employer for the settlement, we are hopeful that discussions with the municipality of our home district of Budapest District XVIII, aimed at formulating a fair local tax policy catering for the interests of regional economic stakeholders as well, will be successful.”
No less than 400 film specialists; set decorators, make-up artists, cameramen, electricians, stylists and extras invaded Terminal 2 of Budapest Airport for the shooting of airport scenes for the fifth and latest installment in the Die Hard series. Thanks to the precise organization work, passengers were practically not impacted at all by the film shoot in the morning, since the arrivals level was only closed for the duration of the actual filming, i.e. 2-3 minutes at a time, with traffic flowing seamlessly along the outer lane during the breaks in between.
According to what is known so far about the script, in this scene the hero of the Die Hard series, lieutenant John McClane, departs from New York La Guardia Airport for Russia, in order to deal with the “bad guys”. This is the airport scene that was shot in the morning hours at Terminal 2. The American actor-superstar arrived on set with imposing punctuality. In accordance with the published daily schedule, at 7:00 a.m. Bruce Willis was already dressed and made up for the first scene. It is a testament to the professionalism of the crew that the film shoot was completed by 10 a.m., an hour earlier than planned, when normal traffic conditions were restored on all airport roads.
The afternoon session took place in the internal area of the airport, in front of the Aeroplex maintenance hangar, which the Die Hard set dressers converted to an American airbase for this period. As part of the shoot, the crew also leased a small business jet, on which the registration marks were quickly changed to American ones.
Terminal 1, closed in May, served as the base for the film crew. This is where dressing rooms for the extras and the make-up room was established, the various American airport uniforms, costumes and accessories were stored and even a large canteen was set up for the crew in the central hall.
The next time we will have a chance to see Bruce Willis at Budapest La Guardia Airport will be next spring – in the cinemas.
Push a button, pick up a ticket and download your passengers – then leave the close curbside of Terminal 2 at Budapest Airport for free within 5 minutes. This is how simple the new curbside parking system works at Budapest Airport after 8th August 2012. The improved access system enables motorists to off-load or pick-up their passengers both at departure and arrival level (the latter was closed to traffic due to the construction and refurbishment of Terminal 2). Those who wish to park their vehicles right at the terminal curbside has to pay 2000 HUF for 30 minutes at the so-called Premium Parking. However the usual parking at Terminal Parking costs only 800 HUF for 30 minutes.
The introduction of the new system is part of the Terminal 2 development that started 3 years ago with the construction of SkyCourt. After inauguration of the new central element of Terminal 2 both interiors of 2A and 2B were modernized and overhauled. Now time has come for Budapest Airport to make road access more efficient at Terminal 2 and introduce a simpler parking system too.
Introduction of the new system will significantly increase efficiency and through-put of Terminal 2 curbside and increase road safety at peak hours. All public buses (BKV), Budapest Airport’s licensed taxis and Airport Shuttle Minibus have free access to their designated areas. Also tourist buses have an opportunity to download their passengers and pick them up at designated areas. Down at the Terminal Parking area drivers have 10 minutes time free of charge to do the same.
Car drivers have to draw their tickets while driving through the barriers on entry and they can leave with the same ticket free if they do it within 5 minutes. Those who exceed the 5 minutes limit have to pay the Premium Parking cash-machines (with banknotes and coins) at the curbside and near the exits of the Terminal both at departure and arrival level. Down at the Terminal Parking the same system works free of charge for 10 minutes’ period of time.
“We are introducing a system at the curbside parking very similar to most European airports” – says Manel Moreno, Head of Landside Services of Budapest Airport.” We offer 70 parking spaces at departures and 53 at arrival to those who wish to pay for the premium comfort of leaving their vehicles right at the doors of the terminal. All other drivers are advised to use 749 spaces down at Terminal Parking. I am sure that with the new system in place, our curbside will be safer and much more convenient to our passengers.”
It is apparent from the report that 2011 was a breakthrough year for Budapest airport in all respects in terms of corporate social responsibility. Already in parallel with the drafting of the strategy, the company devised and implemented numerous voluntary initiatives, as a result of which it received the prestigious “Committed to CSR Excellence” award, and also the European-level “Committed to Excellence” certificate.
The airport operator also implemented large-scale environmental investments, innovative research and development programs, and incorporated CSR criteria into its internal procedures. Additionally, it continued and extended its successful good neighborly cooperation of many years with neighboring settlements, and established a new system for employee participation in decision-making processes.
Budapest Airport has been committed to CSR for several years, as evidenced by a whole host of voluntary initiatives; during the past years it significantly reduced its energy consumption, implemented a noise protection program running into hundreds of millions of forints and concluded cooperation agreements with the municipalities of numerous neighboring settlements.
“Although the loss of Malév and the drastically increased tax burdens restrict our opportunities, we remain open to voluntary initiatives designed to strengthen and further develop the trust of our partners and neighbors and to win the recognition of the general public,” said Gábor Szarvas, environment, health and safety director for Budapest Airport. “As part of this, we remain committed to environmentally conscious operation, continue our energy rationalization program and, in spite of the unexpected difficulties, seek to implement our CSR strategy worked out last year.”
Although the children had already visited many interesting workplaces, several of them confessed that the few hours spent at the airport was the most enjoyable experience for them. They marveled at the life of the airport, observed the bustle of the aprons, and considered becoming fire-fighters when they saw and touched the huge fire trucks of the airport fire service. Of course these ideas change quickly, because by the time the group admired the enchanting lights and the aircraft taking off and landing on the runways, most of them rather wanted to become pilots or air traffic controllers. The visit proved yet again just how thrilling the closed but exciting world of the airport is to outsiders, and especially children.
With the Park ’n Wash service, drivers can have their cars washed and cleaned whilst simply leaving them in the car park. The service is available in the short and long stay and the guarded car park alike at Terminal 2. Park ‘n Wash is not only ideal for those who leave their cars at the airport for a few hours, or even a few days or weeks whilst they are traveling. The service is also available for drivers coming to collect family members or friends at the airport who only use the car parks for a short period, since it takes just 15 minutes for Park ’n Wash staff to “do the dirty work”.
The unique feature of the service is that no water is used; a special cleaning fluid is applied and then removed with a soft sponge. According to estimates, this technology saves 80-100 liters of water per vehicle, which means that several hundred cubic meters of precious drinking water are preserved from pollution on an annual scale. Moreover, the fluid used for cleaning contains plant extracts and other biodegradable substances, and thus only burdens the environment to a negligible extent. The efficiency of this technology, however, rivals that of the traditional wash and rinse method, thanks to the wax content of the cleaning fluid and the subsequent polishing.
Contacts: Tel.: 06 1 296- 8368, 06 1 296-8369