2012. december - 2013. january newsletter

Strong performance at Budapest Airport in spite of the Malév bankruptcy *** LOT Polish Airlines shows off Dreamliner at Budapest *** International recognition for Hungarian brand promotion campaign *** Budapest Airport launches free Wi-Fi for passengers *** KLM announces further expansion *** Norwegian to start B737-800 flights to Helsinki from April *** All Shops Let In Terminal *** Hot temptation at the terminal *** The new Germanwings is here *** Winter pictures *** Last minute goose liver and Tokaj wine from Heinemann DHL moves to Budapest Airport Business Park *** Budapest Airport celebrates the launch of two new Wizz Air routes *** Wizz Air launches Budapest – Tel Aviv flight *** Baby Lounge at the airport terminal *** SkyCourt wins top architecture award

Strong performance at Budapest Airport in spite of the Malév bankruptcy

Passenger traffic at Budapest Airport decreased by less than 4.7 percent last year, in spite of the loss of its base carrier and the protracted global economic crisis. The Hungarian capital airport handled a total of 8 504 020 departing and arriving passengers in 2012. However, the drop in air traffic movements, i.e. the number of takeoffs and landings, was much more dramatic, falling by more than 20 percent to 87 560, which is similar to the levels seen ten years ago.

Already on 3 February 2012, the day of the Malév grounding, Budapest Airport made huge efforts to fill the void left by the Hungarian national carrier. The objective was to minimize the negative impacts of the Malév bankruptcy on passengers and Hungarian tourism. The other airlines moved very quickly to fill the gaping hole in the market. Lufthansa launched flights to Hamburg and Berlin within 72 hours, Air Berlin’s first flight from the German capital also arrived within three days. Wizz Air and Ryanair announced the launch of more than forty new flights in total on the day of the Malév bankruptcy.

A large number of new airlines appeared in Budapest in 2012, including the Greek carrier Aegean Airlines, the French service provider Brit Air, the Dutch carrier Transavia, the Finnish airline Blue 1, the Russian operator Ural Airlines, the German carrier OLT Express, and Ryanair returned to the Hungarian capital with no less than 28 flights. Wizz Air announced the launch of ten new flights, and increased the number of aircraft stationed in Budapest from four to six. Many other airlines reacted to the situation by increasing the frequency of existing flights or their capacity by operating larger aircraft to Budapest. As a result, the utilization of flights, the so-called load factor, improved significantly, but the number of takeoffs and landings reduced by approximately 23 000.

There was a significant rearrangement in the airline market at Budapest Airport. The proportion of low cost carriers increased from 26 percent in 2011 to 52 percent last year, bringing with it corresponding changes in travel habits, and even a change in the face of tourism in Hungary. Flying as a means of transport became accessible to new layers of society, such as young people, university students and job seekers looking for opportunities in other countries. Based on feedback from hoteliers in Budapest, 5-star hotels complained of a considerable drop in business, whilst many motels, youth hostels and 3-star hotels reported a record number of guests last year.

Although Budapest Airport was forced to introduce a number of cost-cutting measures, such as the closure of Terminal 1 at the end of May 2012, the quality of passenger handling has not decreased. On the contrary, there has been a further increase in service levels. According to a confidential passenger survey conducted by the Airports Council International (ACI), the assessment of Budapest Airport by passengers improved further in 2012. It is especially noteworthy that the airport operator managed to make progress in a number of key areas directly related to passenger services. For example, passengers believe that security screening (politeness and helpfulness, thoroughness, waiting time, general sense of security) was better, and they continue to provide excellent feedback about value for money in airport restaurants and the product offer of airport shops.

Although Budapest Airport was forced to cancel planned investments of approximately 30 million EUR (8.7 billion HUF) in 2012 due to the Malév bankruptcy, the airport operator still exceeded its development commitments undertaken in the privatization contract. This was confirmed in an official letter by the Hungarian National Asset Management Company (MNV Zrt.) at the end of December 2012, emphasizing that Budapest Airport fulfilled all of its commitments.

“Budapest Airport could do even more to support Hungarian tourism and especially the city of Budapest,” emphasized Jost Lammers, the CEO Budapest Airport. “For many years now we have not managed to find a way out of the bureaucratic maze preventing the construction of an airport hotel at Terminal 2, even though it wouldn’t cost a single forint for the central budget, and would serve the interests of tourism. I am hopeful that we will soon be able to cut this Gordian knot with the new CEO of MNV Zrt.,” he added.

Last year Budapest Airport introduced a significant number of improvements to enhance service quality at the airport (e.g. the Fast Track lane to speed up security screening), enabling airlines to pick and choose in a modular manner what is best for their profile and passengers. With the introduction of pedestrian boarding and disembarkation at Terminal 2 (the so-called basic boarding gates), Budapest Airport managed to halve delays attributed to airport capacities. As a result, low cost carriers are able to keep to their schedules and can reduce the turnaround times of their aircraft. The accuracy of flights thus improved from 79 percent in 2011 to 82 percent last year.

“Budapest Airport continues its efforts to open new destinations from Budapest and to attract new carriers from all segments of aviation, like long haul, European legacy and low cost carriers, as well as charter operators,” said Kam Jandu, aviation director for Budapest Airport. He added: “It would be very important for the entire Hungarian tourism industry to create a substantial marketing fund in order to generate additional flights for Hungary, as air connections in most countries are a proven source of economic growth. The exclusive Routes Europe Conference attended by airline decision-makers is planned for May in Budapest, and it will help considerably for all stakeholders to have a common approach in advance of the conference to persuade new airlines to invest in Hungary ahead of competing countries in the region.”

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LOT Polish Airlines shows off Dreamliner at Budapest

Photo caption: LOT Polish Airlines’ Dreamliner at Budapest Airport

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International recognition for Hungarian brand promotion campaign

The joint summer campaign by Heinemann Duty Free, Zwack Unicum and Budapest Airport has been recognized as “highly commended” by one of the most prestigious travel retail publications in the world.

DFNI (Duty Free News International), one of the world’s foremost travel retail magazines, selects the best airport products, marketing campaigns and stores every year in several categories. In the DFNI Product Awards 2012, the summer promotion campaign at Budapest Airport was included amongst the best in the business.

One of the best promotion campaigns of 2012 took place at Budapest Airport according to Duty Free News International (DFNI), one of the world’s premier travel retail publications. The magazine selects the best entries from the world of travel retail in a total of 8 categories every year. The best marketing campaign award in the liquor and wines category went to the DFS Group, operating in South Asia, the Pacific region and the west coast of America, for the success of the “Master of Spirits II” campaign. Besides the category winner, DFNI also highlighted two other campaigns from 2012 as “highly commendable”, one of which was the joint summer promotion by Heinemann Duty Free, Zwack and Budapest Airport.

This was the first time that the focus of a large-scale commercial promotion at Budapest Airport was not a global brand, but an excellent local product, a real Hungaricum, the deservedly popular Zwack Unicum. As part of the campaign, implemented in July, one of the busiest summer months, the traditional Hungarian brand joined forces with airport distributor Heinemann Duty Free and Budapest Airport. The primary aim was of course to boost sales, and thereby to promote Hungarian products in the international environment of the airport.

DFNI highlighted the fantastic success of the campaign. The prestigious Unicum proved very popular with passengers; sales increased fivefold, not least because of the promotion campaign built on the brand’s latest product, the plum-flavored Unicum, which accounted for approximately 60 percent of sales. Results showed that nearly one in four adult passengers sampled at least one Unicum product, out of curiosity, or perhaps to set the mood for their flight.

“We were certain that Zwack Unicum would be a big hit when we made this excellent Hungarian product the focus of our summer promotion campaign,” commented Alan Bork, director consumer for Budapest Airport. “We are proud of the fact that the marketing campaign for a traditional Hungarian brand has been recognized by one of the most prestigious international travel retail publications. This has reinforced our belief that we should present more world-class Hungarian products to the international traveling public at Budapest Airport,” he added.

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Budapest Airport launches free Wi-Fi for passengers

Budapest Airport has provided a wireless internet connection for passengers in all departing passenger circulation areas.

From now on, access to the internet is available free of charge on the departure levels of Terminals 2A and 2B and in the SkyCourt. This is another important development focusing on passengers' needs, since nearly everyone carries at least one portable device with a Wi-Fi function nowadays.

Wireless internet coverage is in place nearly everywhere at the terminals of Budapest Airport from the end of December. The free Wi-Fi service is available in the departure halls and the transit area, over tens of thousands of square meters in total. From now on, it will be worth searching for the internet at the airport with smartphones, laptops and tablet computers, as Budapest Airport provides a free service for passengers on the networks called bud:free wifi and bud:skycourt free.

Once the network has been selected, a website operated by Budapest Airport will load, which, following acceptance of the terms and conditions, provides an uninterrupted internet connection for up to two hours. This is more than enough during a standard journey, as the average waiting time spent at the terminals is just over one hour. On the website activating the internet connection, Budapest Airport also collected useful information about the airport and aviation, including flight information, news and commercial offers.

"We are happy to launch a free Wi-Fi service for our passengers," said Andrea Trencsén, head of marketing and innovation for Budapest Airport. "Nowadays, passengers quite rightly demand that the internet should be available everywhere at international airports, be it for business or recreation, and in many cases it makes travel-related administration much easier as well. We are certain that passengers will quickly discover the new free networks, which we call their attention to with notices on our website and throughout the terminals,” she added.

The new service is only available in departing passenger circulation and waiting areas at the moment. Experiences show that arriving passengers spend as little time as possible at the airport. Independent passenger surveys have confirmed significant demand for a wireless internet connection, which had so far been available only in the transit area of the SkyCourt. With the new development, Budapest Airport further strengthened its good position amongst international airports offering digital and online services, after presenting its airport application for smartphones just over a month ago.

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KLM announces further expansion

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is further increasing the frequency of its flights at Budapest Airport.

As of 28 April 2013 in the summer schedule, it will commute four times a day, with the exception of Saturday, between Budapest and Amsterdam. In connection with this development, low cost carrier Transavia will switch from Amsterdam to Rotterdam with four flights weekly from Budapest.

KLM decided to respond to the ever-increasing market demand by adding a fourth daily service in the summer schedule. This takes the number of KLM flights between Budapest and Amsterdam to 27 a week. The Dutch carrier already increased the capacity of this service earlier this year; it first flew the flight with a Boeing 737-800 before upgrading to a brand new 189-seater Boeing 737-900.

The fourth daily flight will favor business travelers to a large extent, who will be able to catch the 19:40 flight to Amsterdam comfortably after a day of meetings. Hungarian business persons will also have the opportunity to take the evening flight, spend the night in Amsterdam and start the next day early, since the aircraft touches down at Schiphol Airport at 21:50, so they can arrive at their hotels by 23:00. In the summer schedule period starting from 28 April 2013, the following flights will be available from Budapest to Amsterdam: 06:25, 12:25, 17:10 and 19:40.

"We decided on the frequency increase because our traffic from Budapest is increasing more and more dynamically,” said Botond Melles, country manager Hungary for the Air France- KLM-Delta group. "Tickets for the new flight can already be booked in our system as of today from 129 EUR for a return ticket, which is important for passengers who are beginning to plan overseas trips via Amsterdam next year. I am sure that the fourth KLM flight will quickly live up to expectations,” he added.

"We are delighted that KLM is launching its fourth daily flight between Budapest and Amsterdam," commented Patrick Bohl, head of airline development for Budapest Airport, following months of joint work on the frequency increase by the Dutch carrier and Budapest Airport. "The additional evening flight further expands the options available for business travelers and tourists, thereby directly contributing to boosting tourism in Hungary as well,” he added.

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Norwegian to start B737-800 flights to Helsinki from April

Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA‘Norwegian’, Norway’s publicly-listed expanding low fare carrier, will commence three times weekly flights to Helsinki in Finland from April 11 this year. Flights go on sale with immediate effect at www.norwegian.comwith lead-in fares starting from 45 Euros.

Operating days are Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.Flights will depart in Helsinki at 1940 to the Hungarian capital, arriving 2055. Budapest departures will be at 2125, arriving 0040the following day in Helsinki.

The new route will suit both leisure and business passengers travelling to the central European aviation hub of Budapest. “We know from experience this is an extremely popular route and we very much welcome Norwegian entering the Helsinki market to complement their direct services to Oslo, Stockholm and Copenhagen from Budapest,” said Budapest Airport Aviation Director Kam Jandu.

Norwegian is marking its eighth year at Budapest Airport since it launched its direct service to Oslo in 2004. The Budapest to Oslo service now operates five times weekly with departures Monday toThursday and Sunday.

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All Shops Let In Terminal

All free commercial space of Budapest Airport has been taken by tenants; the range of retail and F&B offer at the airport has never been as colorful as it is currently. The two last tenants to move in have also brought global brands to the transit area of SkyCourt and Terminal 2A setting up a Guess and Calvin Klein outlet and a special toy store. Budapest Airport continues to work on further improvements of quality and expansion of services at the terminals.

“All rooms taken!” – this could be billboarded at Budapest Airport – at least regarding commercial space. With this, the comprehensive commercial re-birth of Budapest Airport commencing with the opening of SkyCourt in 2011 has been completed. Today, the most powerful global brands are competing with the best Hungarian products at the airport, and a diverse gastro offer is also available for passengers – with an excellent price/value ratio, as indicated by independent passenger satisfaction surveys. Just recently two new stores were opened at Budapest Airport, completing its retail palette with a Guess and Calvin Klein branded store and a toy store targeting children (and their parents) called Living Toys.

Both shops are filling gaps: the elegant fashion outlet is selling Guess and Calvin Klein products which in itself would be nothing new at the airport if it was not the only store in Hungary where a uniquely wide range of Calvin Klein Jeans as well as ‘ck Calvin Klein’ bag, shoes, underwear, and other accessories are available. In this exclusive store with an interior matching the well-known international brands leisure footwear and clothing accessories including belts, purses, and key-rings are being sold on 65 square meters of the last remaining commercial space in SkyCourt, completing the retail offer in the new terminal facility.

The Living Toys store is a real treasure island for kids to visit before flights. The best-known brands including Mattel, Hasbro, Piatnik, Simba, and Lego are all here together with numerous skill-improving games as well as plush toys and fairy-tale-themed Budapest gift items. Parents’ comfort and peace of mind is supported by baby travel accessories, baby food, children’s books, CDs, and DVDs. The shop is operated in the transit area of Terminal 2A.

“I am proud to say that the retail offer at Budapest Airport underwent a profound change over the last two years. The first major milestone was the handover of SkyCourt, and the process was crowned by the refurbishment of Terminal 2A and Terminal 2B, making it possible for additional global brands to appear at Budapest Airport,” underlined Alan Bork, Director of Business Unit Consumer of Budapest Airport, also adding, “Going forward, we will continue to develop the services in the terminals aimed at the continuous improvement of passenger satisfaction.”

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Hot temptation at the terminal

Budapest Airport awaits departing passengers with a heart-warming offer during the last month of winter.

Whether departing early in the morning or later during the day, a coffee or cappuccino before boarding is always nice, especially if it is free of charge. As part of Budapest Airport‘s February promotion, all departing passengers who spend 50 EUR or more at any of the three Heinemann Duty Free shops will be able to redeem a coupon distributed at passenger screening for a hot drink at the Hippopotamus restaurant or at the Bill Bentley bar, with a tempting dessert or any other purchase.

Everyone will be able to find something for their liking, as the various muffins, a hot apple pie or the creamy cakes are all ideal companions for the free coffee or tea.

All passengers have to do to take advantage of the offer is to have the receipt verifying their purchase of 50 EUR or more stamped by the hostesses, and then to redeem the voucher either at the Hippopotamus restaurant on the mezzanine level or the Bill Bentley bar at gate A10.

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The new Germanwings is here

Germanwings received the first aircraft, an Airbus A319, in the airline's new livery on 19th December 2012 in Cologne/Bonn Airport.

The key element of the new brand is a stylised burgundy and yellow 'W' of the name Germanwings. The aim of the new brand is to reflect the quality product concept and position of Germanwings among low cost carrier airlines.

Point-to-point shorthaul flights will be gradually transferred from Lufthansa to Germanwings from the second half of 2013, increasing its fleet to 90 aircraft. Soon Lufthansa flights to Dusseldorf, Hamburg and Berlin operating from Budapest will be transfered to Germanswings only Munich and Frankfurt flights remaining with Lufthansa.

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Last minute goose liver and Tokaj wine from Heinemann

Heinemann Duty Free is opening a new shop which will primarily sell Hungarian products at Terminal 2A of Budapest Airport. Passengers rushing to catch Schengen-internal flights will thus have an opportunity to grab some high-quality presents from Hungary for their loved ones before boarding.The new, 140-square-meter outlet at Terminal 2A will be like a breath of fresh air in the standardized world of modern airports.

In addition to the well-known international sweets and drinks brands, a genuine Hungarian atmosphere will greet customers, along with an excellent range of high-quality Hungarian products. Local produce is anyhow popular with travelers; the new shop is intended to satisfy this demand. It is true that Hungarian products are available in the “big” duty free and in other outlets as well, but even the design and the style of the new shop suggests that it offers genuine Hungarian products. In January, after the traditionally busy Christmas and New Year period, women from the Kalocsa region will paint local folk motifs on the walls left bare for this purpose.

“Thanks to the folk artists, the shop will have unique, Hungarian decorations, which will also set us apart in the world of airport retail. It will also be entertaining for passengers to watch the women from Kalocsa working,” said Fritz Janach, the managing director of Heinemann Duty Free. “Our experiences show that the two Hungarian products that are most popular with passengers are the liqueurs manufactured by Zwack (especially Unicum) and Pick salami. In addition, we will also offer paprika from Kalocsa and Szeged, fine pálinka (Hungarian fruit brandy), Hungarian porcelain and the justifiably popular Szamos marzipan,” he added.

Alluding to Hungary’s rich natural resources and wildlife, the decorations in the new Heinemann shop will include uniquely designed lamps made of tree branches and stag heads with antlers, decorated with flowers. “Heinemann Duty Free went to great lengths to apply original solutions in the design of the new outlet. I am certain that it will prove popular with passengers,” said Alan Bork, director consumer for Budapest Airport, of his first experiences of the facility. “In our increasingly uniform world, passengers really appreciate local products that are different from what is generally available. Fortunately, Hungary is able to surprise visitors with products of exceptional quality, such as the Tokaj dessert wines or the famous goose liver, which, incidentally, go together very well.”

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DHL moves to Budapest Airport Business Park

DHL Global Forwarding, Freight, the air and ocean freight specialist within Deutsche Post DHL and one of the leading providers of road freight services in Europe, will move to the new Airport Business Park development area offered by Budapest Airport. DHL Global Forwarding and DHL Freight will have both their offices and warehouses located at the airport.

DHL already has its aviation cargo facility at Budapest Airport. Now, two off-airport branches will move to the newly created Business Park area of Budapest Airport from locations in Vecsés and in Budapest. The move will save costs and help DHL to streamline their operations in Hungary. Due to the facility structure, DHL can now work even more closely across the divisions and therefore improve the services for their customers.

After having secured a binding building permit for the new facility consisting of 3,000 square meters of office space, 7,800 square meters of warehouse and 5,700 square meters of maneuvering area, Budapest Airport and DHL have signed a lease agreement with DHL Global Forwarding and DHL Freight. According to Budapest Airport’s plans the construction of the new facility will start in December 2012 and the first DHL-tenants will be able to move in summer 2013.

“This is a very important milestone in the life of Budapest Airport in the post-Malév recovery. We could make an attractive offer to our new partners in a very competitive real estate market in Budapest. This will be the first step in creating a Business Park development area in the Southern areas of the airport which by the way will be easily accessible through public roads from the adjacent areas and will have excellent road connections both through road 4 and M0 ring highway”, said René Droese, Property Director of Budapest Airport.

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Budapest Airport celebrates the launch of two new Wizz Air routes

Budapest Airport celebrated the launch of two new Wizz Air routes on Friday, December 14th.

The first Wizz Air flight toKiev, the Ukranian capital departed Budapest at 10:30 am local time carrying passengers aboard an Airbus A320 aircraft. Some 40 minutes later, Budapest Airport welcomed the first Wizz Air flight from Geneva, Switzerland touching down inthe Hungarian capitalat 11:10.am. Representatives from Budapest Airport and Wizz Air celebrated the inauguration of both routes with a cake and ribbon cutting ceremony. Thetwo maiden flightsrepresent the start of year round schedules between Budapest and the two cities.

Budapest to Geneva Schedule

Wizz Air will operate three times weekly and is expected to carry over 45,000 passengers in its first year of operation.


Depart Budapest: 06:55 Arrive Geneva: 08:45

Budapest – KievSchedule

Wizz Air will operate four times weekly in December and January, increasing to daily flights from March 2013.


Depart Budapest: 10:30 Arrive Kiev: 13:15

“Budapest Airport is delighted to welcome the two new routes from Wizz Air today. Kiev is a very important route for the business and leisure community alike and will no doubt be a success. Geneva presents many year round opportunities for travellers and we are delighted with the increased options Wizz Air provides,” said Kam Jandu, Director Aviation at Budapest Airport.

Daniel de Carvalho, Corporate Communications Manager at Wizz Air, said: “We are extremely pleased to add both new routes to Wizz Air’s operations just before the New Year. Following growing demand from business people and tourists for Budapest as a destination, we now offer a high quality and regular service from both Geneva and Kiev at low fares. Budapest, being located on both banks of the river Danube, has always attracted thousands of visitors every year. The two new routes,both utilising our new Airbus A320 aircraft, will be welcomed by many Swiss and Ukrainian travelers alike.”

The Wizz Air Airbus A320 offers an all-economy, 180-seat cabin with the option to buy extra leg room and priority boarding on ticket purchase. Fare details and tickets can be found at www.Wizzair.com or by calling the Call Center at +380 (44) 206-4-888.

Wizz Air currently operates 20 routes from Budapest Airport. It is the largest Central and Eastern European low cost carrier and started flights from Budapest in 2004, its first year of operation.

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Wizz Air launches Budapest – Tel Aviv flight

Hungarian low cost carrier Wizz Air launched its new Budapest-Tel Aviv flight this afternoon, with 175 passengers on board its Airbus A 320.

József Váradi, the CEO of Wizz Air, Jost Lammers, the CEO of Budapest Airport and Ilan Mor, Ambassador of the State of Israel to Hungary were on hand to see off the aircraft and the passengers.

The 180-seater A 320 was nearly full as it left Budapest during the early afternoon. According to the schedule, the Wizz Air flight departs at 3:25 p.m. and arrives at Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport after a flight time of three and a half hours, at 7:40 p.m. local time. The flight then takes off on the return leg at 8:30 p.m. after a turnaround time of 50 minutes, and arrives back in Budapest at 11:00 p.m.

Wizz Air announced the launch of the flight in September 2012, and it has proven so popular with passengers within a short period of time that the originally planned frequency of three flights a week has already been increased to four a week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday) during the winter schedule season. Wizz Air plans to commute daily between Budapest and Tel Aviv during the summer schedule season, from 15 June.

“We are delighted to be the first to offer low fares on the Budapest-Tel Aviv route,” said József Váradi, the CEO of Wizz Air. He added: “For years Israeli and Hungarian passengers have been forced to buy expensive tickets, but now, thanks to Wizz Air’s low prices, business and holiday tourism between the two countries can grow even further. To satisfy the high demand for our low fares, during the 2013 peak season we will operate a daily flight between Budapest and Tel Aviv. Following on from the first Tel Aviv flight today, we hope to offer more exciting routes for our passengers as we expand our network.”

“We at Budapest Airport are happy to see the start of operations on the Tel Aviv flight of Wizz Air,” said Jost Lammers, CEO of Budapest Airport. He added: “This has been a long-standing open issue, successfully closed now to the benefit of passengers in both countries. From now on, Hungarian travelers will have greater choice and better access to one of the richest cultural destinations of the world, while people from Israel will have more opportunity to travel to Hungary for business and leisure purposes.”

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Baby Lounge at the airport terminal

A brand new Baby Lounge, a baby and child care facility at Terminal 2B transit area has been opened by Budapest Airport. The first guests were children from the kindergarten of the neighbouring 18th district who could meet Santa Claus as well. The Baby Lounge has been redesigned: walls decorated with colourful features, playing area with a board, a modern nappy changing and breastfeeding area were created in order to provide more comfort and a friendly environment.

The Baby Lounge at Budapest Airport T2B has been marvellously redesigned: the youngest passengers can find cheerful colours and a family friendly atmosphere at the airport in Budapest. However, the wall decoration of the Lounge has an international touch as next to the colourful cartoon figures captions are written in 13 different languages. The time spent in the newly designed lounge will be an adventure for children before starting their journey. An interactive playing area with a patterned carpet furbished for the youngest and a mini tent-tunnel for the older ones will keep the ever active kids busy.

Budapest Airport hasn’t forgotten about mothers travelling with their infants: a private area with a comfortable armchair, which can be separated with a curtain, enables mothers to breastfeed or bottle-feed their babies. Further useful solutions are the modern nappy changing area only a few steps from the child care area and the microwave oven where milk or other drinks for the children can be warmed up.

The worthy first visitors of the Lounge were 30 children from a kindergarten of the neighbouring 18th district to stress test the facility. To their surprise Santa Claus arrived soon after who otherwise was greeting passengers at the airport all day. Santa brought presents to the children who showed that Christmas songs have not been forgotten this year either.

René Droese, Director of Property at Budapest Airport said: „Coping with long-hours flight is boring and exhausting for the children but the time spent at the airport is not going to be anymore.” He added: “As a real surprise we wanted to provide a unique experience for our passengers travelling to non-Schengen countries with their children and from now on a Lounge especially designed for them can be found not only in SkyCourt but after passport control at Terminal 2B as well.”

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SkyCourt wins top architecture award

The new terminal building at Budapest Airport, the SkyCourt, has won one of the most prestigious awards in Hungarian architecture, the Architectural Award for Excellence.

This is the third major accolade bestowed on the new facility since its opening last year. The accompanying certificate was handed over to the representatives of the designer Középülettervező Zrt., the main contractor KÉSZ Építő Zrt. and the developer Budapest Airport Zrt. on Thursday.

On behalf of the National Federation of Hungarian Contractors, the professional panel declared the new terminal building at Budapest Airport as the recipient of theArchitectural Award for Excellencethis year. The SkyCourt was handed over to the traveling public at the end of March 2011, and it has won several important Hungarian and international awards since. Out of the ten categorizes of the prize, the building was declared as the winner in the public building category, together with the Kodály Center in Pécs. Besides the main contractor, the Architectural Award for Excellence was presented to the designer and the developer as well, with a bronze plaque due to be placed on the building subsequently.

The SkyCourtwas one of the largest development projects at Budapest Airport in recent years. As part of its BUD Future program, Budapest Airport renovated and expanded Terminal 2. The total investment budget amounted to approximately 100 million EUR, or 28 billion HUF. The main contractor, KÉSZ Zrt. executed the imposing building based on the designs of Zoltán TimaandKözépülettervező Zrt. The facility was completed at a high standard of quality, and has already won several prestigious Hungarian and international prizes since its opening. “This building is a joint success for KÉSZ, Budapest Airport and the entire country. We are proud to receive another award in recognition of our work,” said MarcellPintyőke, marketing and communications director for the KÉSZ group. “What this accolade means for us is that Hungary’s premier airport has been reborn, and the SkyCourt has become one of the emblematic buildings of Budapest,” he added.

“I am particularly happy that with this award, leading Hungarian architects have acknowledged our joint achievement, the SkyCourt by Budapest Airport, Zoltán Tima and Közti, as well as the execution by KÉSZ,” said Stephan Schattney. The development director of Budapest Airport added: “I consider myself extremely lucky that I could follow through this project from the very first sketches, then the first design, the start of construction and finally, handover. With more than 10 million passengershaving used the facility since its inauguration last March, I can now confirm that both the design and the execution serve the purpose of the buildingvery well; it makes air travel more convenient and exciting for people. I also have to stress here the flexibility inherent in the design, since theSkyCourt proved itself even under new travel requirements and operational needs.”

The Architectural Award for Excellence is bestowed upon participants from the construction industry who not only create works of enduring quality, but also enhance the image and the reputation of the sector. The list of criteria considered for the award included the quality of construction, the functionality of the solutions applied, the favorability of operation and cooperation between the designers and the contractors. This year’s winners included the FerencMóraBridge on the M43 motorway, the Árkád shopping center in Szeged, the city baths in Makó and the design, permitting and the turnkey construction of new residential buildings and utilities in the settlements impacted by the red sludge disaster in 2010.

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