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Swiss International Air Lines wins race to be: “Fastest Airline In The World” in Airbus-sponsored anna.aero-Budapest Airport Runway Run

Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) is officially “The Fastest Airline In The World” having won the air transport industry’s 10km charity race held annually on Runway 13R-31L of Budapest Airport on Saturday 5 September, beating the reigning champions, Aer Lingus, although the IAG carrier achieved a second-place podium finish for both its team and individual runners.

The SWISS team (called “HB Fun” after the designator for Swiss-registered aircraft) also took “the double” as team member Christian Mathys was the first to cross the line as “Fastest Aviator” flying time of 31.02 – a course record (or four lengths of the runway).

Commenting on the victory for the Star Alliance airline team, SWISS CEO, Harry Hohmeister, said: "The victory of the brilliant SWISS team in winning ‘Fastest Airline In The World’ in the Budapest Airport Runway Run is also a triumph for the company's closely-held corporate and social responsibility goals. A healthy, motivated workforce is a key factor in our success and desire to remain competitive internationally. I applaud our fine SWISS Corporate Citizens for both their sporting achievement, and for taking part in a significant industry charity initiative."

The Airbus-sponsored anna.aero-Budapest Airport Runway Run took place on a specially-closed, normally very busy, operational runway which was re-opened to traffic less than two hours after the event. 920 runners entered this year’s race, the third time Budapest Airport has staged the annual event which is co-organised with the airline news and analysis website www.anna.aero and which is now positioned as the air transport industry’s premier charity sports spectacle.

Besides SWISS, teams and individual airline entries ranged from home-based carrier Wizz Air to Air Canada Jazz, Aeroflot, Air France, Brussels Airlines, Qatar Airways, SkyWest Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Finnair, Ethiopian Airlines, Monarch Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Emirates, and last year’s defending champion, Aer Lingus. Small Planet Airlines’ Andreas Wobig was fastest Airline CEO (finishing in 45 minutes), while Poland’s Wroclaw Airport beat a field of much bigger airports including Aeroporti di Roma, Toulouse, Manchester, Berlin, Munich, and London-Heathrow to take the prize of ‘Fastest Airport’. The allied prize, for Fastest Aviation Enterprise, was contested by several air transport-related companies, including title sponsor Airbus, and won by the global duty free shop operator, Gebr. Heinemann.

Personally leading a team into the race, Airbus EVP Sales Europe, Chris Buckley, said: “Airbus is extremely proud to be the main sponsor of this leading sports charity event for the global aviation industry – we entered 12 enthusiastic runners into the race and we particularly welcomed the opportunity to share a runway with an airport which is dominated by Airbus flights, including Wizz Air, the first low cost carrier to commit to the A321neo (with an order for 110 units). With so many of our customers on the Budapest Airport runway, the Airbus team had to run the race at a deliberately slow pace in order not to humiliate the airline teams and damage our excellent customer relationships. However, the support we are able to give to the benefiting good causes is the ample and muchtreasured prize for Airbus.”

Jost Lammers, CEO of Budapest Airport, added: “Budapest Airport takes significant pride in staging the air transport industry’s annual sporting and charity event which is unique in its category in Europe. It combines the unforgettable sporting experience of running on a runway with the chance for us to show off the beauties of the city of Budapest to our guests and business partners from the aviation industry, while allowing us to donate all entry proceeds to the Suhanj! foundation in Hungary, and to the Anthony Nolan charity which provides bone marrow transplants for leukaemia sufferers on a global basis. It really is win, win, win for everyone concerned.”

All participants in the race also receive the “Bron’s Medal,” named for Brontë “Bron” Hogan, the late-12 year-old daughter of Paul Hogan, the publisher of www.anna.aero. “Brontë passed away in 2011 after a brave five-year battle with leukaemia during which she had two bone marrow transplants from a donor in Texas found by Anthony Nolan,” explained Hogan (53), a veteran of nine marathons who ran the race pushing his two-year old daughter in a jogging stroller in a personal best of 47 minutes. “I am grateful to Airbus, Budapest Airport, and all 920 sportsmen and women from the airlines, airports and air transport community who stepped-up to take part on the day – Bron would be honoured and you can wear your medals with considerable pride.”

920 runners entered this year’s Airbus-sponsored anna.aero-Budapest Airport Runway Run which took place on the normally very busy Runway 13R-31L, a specially-closed operational runway which was re-opened to traffic less than two hours after the event.

Swiss International Air Lines is officially “The Fastest Airline In The World” having won the air transport industry’s 10km charity race held annually on Runway 13R-31L of Budapest Airport on Saturday 5 September. Team member Christian Mathys was also the first to cross the line as “Fastest Aviator” with a flying time of 31.02 – a course record (or four lengths of the runway). Airbus EVP Sales Europe, Chris Buckley (far right) presented the prize: “Airbus is extremely proud to be the main sponsor of this leading charity event for the global aviation industry.”

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