2013 october - december

Historic agreement with BKK SPAR supermarket handed over at BUD
Jet2.com adds East Midlands to its Budapest Airport network Vueling returns to Budapest: New flight from Barcelona
Wizz Air flies to Dubai Pleasant Christmas Surprise to Ryanair Passengers
Budapest Airport performing better Norwegian launches new flight between Budapest and Gatwick
El Al enters the low cost sector Airport chapel reopens
Santa Claus lands in Budapest with Finnair



Kellemes ünnepeket!


Budapest Airport signs historic agreement with BKK

The leaders of Budapest Airport and the Budapest Transport Center (BKK) have signed a historic cooperation agreement that aims to improve all areas of ground transportation services to and from the airport. The document brings ground transportation services in line with the changes that have taken place in recent months in the city of Budapest.


The cooperation agreement was signed today at Ferenc Liszt International Airport by Jost Lammers, CEO of Budapest Airport and Dávid Vitézy, CEO of BKK. The main aim of expanding the strategic cooperation between the two companies is to be able to offer better services to airline passengers arriving at or departing from Budapest Airport.



The agreement provides a legal framework for the joint projects launched by the two companies, as a result of which the parties will establish another customer point, selling tickets and travel cards and providing information to passengers, on the arrivals level of Terminal 2A, in addition to the BKK customer point already operating at Terminal 2B. Ticket and travel card vending machines selling BKK products will be placed at the bus stops at the airport. Budapest Airport will contribute mostly by assuming installation and maintenance costs, but it will also finance the installation of the new ticket machines.

BUD and BKK also agreed on a series of measures to regulate the bus and taxi services at the airport, in line with the changes that were introduced by the Budapest municipality in September 2013. Thus, from 10th December, Budapest Airport will ensure that only regulated taxi operators from Budapest will have the convenience of unlimited complimentary access to the kerbside of Terminals 2A and 2B. BKK agreed to enforce stronger controls over the operation of taxis at the airport; it will check taxi entrepreneurs within the area of the airport at least three times per week to ensure compliance with the taxi decree. The taxi stand at the airport will remain in the same location as currently, with both Budapest Airport and BKK entitled to check its lawful use.

Additionally, Budapest Airport Zrt. is entitled to publish a tender for the use of the taxi stand based on its own criteria, and to perform the evaluation based on its own criteria, independently, within its own competence, following prior coordination with BKK and the Budapest Municipality Lord Mayor’s Office. The aim of the joint efforts is to offer high-quality, reliable and safe ground transportation services to business and leisure travelers when using the capital's airport.



“We have done a lot in recent years together with BKK to improve the travel experience for all passengers at Budapest Airport, whether they are Hungarians or visitors from other countries,” said Jost Lammers, CEO Budapest Airport at the signing of the agreement. He added: “We think it is very important that all key players in the industry should work closely together, since we share the same interests. We as airport operator can do more in the future together with the City Hall of Budapest to continue to improve the quality of services that all passengers expect when using a European capital city airport, and this will no doubt result in higher numbers of satisfied business travelers and tourists to this wonderful city.”

„It is of special importance for the Budapest Municipality and BKK that passengers traveling to and from the airport should receive high-quality services when using public transportation and taxis. Whilst previously, it was not possible for tourists arriving in Budapest to obtain information about public transport or to buy tickets by credit card at the airport, the objective today is to provide comprehensive information for foreigners arriving in Hungary, and to enable them to purchase tickets and travel cards. This also contributes to a positive image of the country and the capital, which is why the Budapest municipality and BKK, in cooperation with Budapest Airport, are doing everything they can to develop services,” said Dávid Vitézy, the CEO of BKK after the signing.


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SPAR supermarket handed over at Budapest Airport

The new SPAR supermarket on the arrivals level of Terminal 2B at Budapest Airport has been officially handed over, and will open tomorrow 12 December. The nearly 300-square-meter City SPAR is a store concept by the SPAR group aimed specifically at comfortable and quick shopping, and will thus fit in fully with passengers’ needs. The opening of the airport supermarket creates 21 new jobs.


The 13th City SPAR supermarket in Hungary has been officially inaugurated at Budapest Airport. The brand new supermarket is located on the arrivals level of Terminal 2B, in the landside area freely accessible to all visitors, meaning no airline ticket is required for shopping. The City SPAR is a store concept well known from the Budapest city center, with the experts from SPAR Hungary and Budapest Airport now establishing the same kind of facility at the airport. Accordingly, the quality and the price of the products will be the same as in other downtown City SPAR outlets.



In harmony with the multinational passenger traffic, the supermarket will place great emphasis on providing a rich selection of premium products, organic food, fresh bakery products baked on the spot and even numerous types of cheese. The outlet will primarily stock foodstuffs characteristic of Hungary, but will also offer products from other cuisines (e.g. Asian, Italian). The airport City SPAR supermarket will be open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day, except during Christmas, thus covering the majority of passenger traffic periods.

In order to be able to accommodate the outlet, Budapest Airport had to completely reconfigure the passenger hall at Terminal 2B. A staircase connecting the arrivals and departure levels had to be demolished, and the infrastructure within the building also had to be partially reconstructed. In the interest of energy efficiency, SPAR will use LED lighting and refrigerator units equipped with doors at the nearly 300-square-meter facility.

New Spar supermarket at Terminal 2


“It was one of our long-held plans to establish a supermarket where our passengers can buy the most essential products that they need when they arrive in Hungary, or return home after a long journey,” said Kam Jandu, Chief Commercial Officer for Budapest Airport. “We believe SPAR Hungary’s City SPAR concept, familiar from downtown Budapest, is the most appropriate to fulfill passengers’ needs for high-quality, comfortable and quick shopping. As the biggest employer in the region, we are especially delighted that we have also managed to create 21 new jobs at the airport in the process,” he added.



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Jet2.com adds East Midlands to its Budapest Airport network

8th November, Jet2.com, the expanding low cost leisure carrier, introduced a brand new route to Budapest from East Midlands Airport. The new service, operating on Mondays and Fridays through the year round provides a direct link to central England and complements Jet2.com’s established services to Hungary’s capital from Leeds Bradford. Manchester and Edinburgh Airports. The first flight took off from East Midlands at 15:00 hours, into Budapest at 17:55. Budapest departures leave at 18:40, arriving into East Midlands at 21:35.

Welcoming the debut B737 service was Budapest Airport’s Airline Development Manager Sándor Saly and Steve Adamson, Jet2.com Inbound Marketing Manager. Budapest Airport’s Chief Commercial Officer Kam Jandu commented, ”We are delighted to see Jet2.com expand it’s presence at Budapest Airport with this, their third route. Central England was a white spot on our network map and I have no doubt that the route will be a great success.”



Fares start from only £38 one way. Whilst the aircraft, a Boeing 737, offers an all economy cabin with up to 148 seats, there is an option to buy extra leg room on eight of the seats, and to select allocated seat numbers on ticket purchase. Jet2.com also offers a generous luggage allowance of 22kg. For more details see www.Jet2.com or for city break bookings, visit www.Jet2holidays.com.


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Vueling returns to Budapest: New flight from Barcelona

Next summer, passengers will once again have the opportunity to travel between Barcelona and Budapest with a direct flight by the Spanish airline Vueling, the company has announced. Vueling last operated to Budapest in 2011; in 2014 it is returning to the Hungarian market with three flights per week. In addition to tourists, Vueling also aims to attract business travelers with the new service.

As of June 2014, Vueling will commute three times a week between Barcelona and Budapest. The Spanish carrier’s 180-seater Airbus A320 type aircraft will arrive from the Catalonian capital on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Initially, Vueling announced that it will operate the flight during the summer season, from June to September, but this is expected to be extended if the new service proves successful. Tickets are already available in Vueling’s booking system.

Vueling is a member of the International Airlines Group (IAG), which also owns Iberia and British Airways. Vueling operates in a similar manner to a low-cost carrier, but it also offers services characteristic of full service carriers. In addition to operating a business class on board its flights, Vueling also provides transfer opportunities for passengers in its route network. As a result, nearly half of Vueling’s passengers are business travelers.

“We are delighted to welcome Vueling back to Budapest next summer. Their reappearance in the Hungarian market will definitely strengthen the Budapest – Barcelona route during the busiest tourism season,” commented Kam Jandu, chief commercial officer for Budapest Airport. “Vueling will offer another alternative for Hungarian and Spanish passengers alike, in addition to the services already available. We wish Vueling all success!” he added.


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Budapest Airport celebrates launch of first ever commercial flight to brand new Dubai World Central Airport

Budapest became the World’s first city to be linked to the newest international airport, Dubai World Central, Al Maktoum International, when its leading scheduled carrier Wizz Air inaugu-rated scheduled flights from Budapest Airport.

In celebration of the first commercial flight, a press conference attended by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai was held. Representatives from Hungarian media joined the flight, while a delegation of dignitaries from Dubai and business people used the opportunity to join Wizz Air’s inaugural flight for a short visit to the UAE. Wizz Air is serving the route four times weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays with Airbus A320 aircraft.

Over 100 passengers took the first flight. Prior to boarding they were treated to a belly danc-ing show and Patrick Bohl, Head of Airline Business Development, Budapest Airport handed over a Hungarian specialty cake to Tamara Mshvenieradze, Public Relations Manager, Wizz Air.



Budapest to Dubai schedule:
Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays
Depart BUD 11:40hrs – Arrive DWC 20:05 hrs
Depart DWC 20:40hrs – Arrive BUD 23:40 hrs

Patrick Bohl commented: "We are very excited to celebrate the launch of this Wizz Air route to the brand new Dubai World Central Airport, which we anticipate will become extremely popular. The new route will offer leisure travellers from both cities the opportunity to enjoy competitively priced breaks between two highly attractive destinations. Equally, we anticipate a sizeable amount of Hungarian business travellers working in the UAE to take advantage of the regular direct connection between the two major capital cities."

Wizz Air’s Daniel de Carvalho adds: “We are very excited to launch our Budapest route to Dubai bringing our total routes served from Budapest to 30. We believe that Wizz Air’s low fares from Budapest to Dubai World Central Airport will stimulate a considerable amount of traffic across both business and leisure customer segments between the UAE and Hungary.”
Lead in fares connecting the two cities start from £63 (Approx 74.49 Euros) and are on sale at www.wizzair.com


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Pleasant Christmas Surprise to Ryanair Passengers

Budapest Airport and Ryanair have come up with a pleasant Christmas surprise enabling passengers to take onboard minor size duty free items purchased before departure. For the first time, small size duty free items will be allowed onboard Ryanair aircraft. This new rule comes in to effect as of 1st December 2013 on all flights of Ryanair across their network, including from Budapest Airport.


From now on passengers may take with them smaller size (max. 35x20x20 cm size) duty free shopping bag free of charge on board. In case of larger size purchase passengers may have their carry-on luggage put into the baggage compartment of the aircraft and have their shopping bag with them on board – or may choose to pay for the second bag. This will enable Ryanair passengers to make their airport-shopping without worrying about baggage restrictions.

The change comes as part of a series of customer-friendly improvements offered by Ryanair to their passengers most of which can be followed at the improved design www.ryanair.com website.

„We are actively listening and responding to our customers so that they can continue to expect low fares and on-time flights, but can now enjoy a second small carry-on bag and reduced boarding card reissue fees for those who have checked-in online, along with easier website access, 24 hour grace periods and quiet flights, with further improvements set to be rolled out over the coming months.” – said Katarzyna Gaborec, Sales & Marketing Executive for Central and Eastern Europe of Ryanair explaining the background of the new rules.


„We at Budapest Airport always welcome any customer service improvement that makes the journey of our passengers more comfortable.” – said János Bagoly, Head of Retail at Budapest Airport. He added: „We more than welcome the passenger-friendly improvements of Ryanair, our second largest airport partner and we recommend all passengers to take advantage of the wide choice of shops available at Budapest Airport for a memorable Christmas shopping experience before their flight.”


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Budapest Airport performing better

Budapest Airport achieved its highest ever scores in the independent, international passenger satisfaction survey performed at 281 airports around the world and recognized as the industry leading airport passengers satisfaction survey. 71 airports in Europe participate with all main airports represented in this quarterly survey. Based on this, it can be stated that, through many years of hard work, Budapest Airport has fought its way up to the elite group of European airports in terms of service quality, being particularly strong in the standard of commercial and terminal services.


Budapest Airport has further improved its position in the Airport Service Quality (ASQ) survey, an international review of airport services performed at most large European airports every quarter. Organized by Airports Council International (ACI), the global umbrella organization for airports, ASQ involves a confidential questionnaire auditing passenger satisfaction with airport services used. The survey consists of 34 areas, and provides one of the most reliable measurements of passengers’ opinions. Budapest Airport attained a result of more than 4 (out of 5) for general satisfaction among tourists, whilst in terms of overall passenger traffic, this indicator was 3.99, which exceeds the European average by far.

As part of the survey, passengers are asked to provide their views based on 34 different parameters, awarding scores on a scale of 1 to 5 for various airport services, ambience, orientation, transportation and security. During the third quarter of 2013, Budapest Airport achieved an average score of more than 4 in 11 categories out of the 34, which is a huge improvement, especially if we consider that this is the busiest period of the year at the airport. In most areas, Budapest Airport not only matched but exceeded the European average.

The airport’s security department performed traditionally well; based on the feedback from the passengers involved in the survey, screeners performed their work in a thorough, determined but polite manner. The other areas where Budapest Airport is well performing are commercial services and the quality of the terminals. Out of the 71 European airports participating in the survey, Budapest Airport attained one of the best results in terms of the selection of restaurants on offer and their value for money. Passengers also rated highly the ambience and the cleanliness of the terminals (SkyCourt, T2A and T2B).

“We have a lot of hard work behind us in the area of service quality, as a result of which we have consistently managed to improve our performance in international passenger satisfaction surveys over the past years,” said Kam Jandu, chief commercial officer for Budapest Airport. “The latest results also showcase this development coming just two years after the opening of SkyCourt an investment project of approximately 100 million EUR or 30 billion HUF, where we took a huge step forward in terms of commercial services and operational improvements. We are especially delighted that our passengers are showing their appreciation of this, along with the other areas where Budapest is now ranked amongst the best airports in Europe. We are grateful for this achievement to airport service providers who have been cooperating with us, now we will be working with them to keep service quality at this industry leading level,” he added.


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Norwegian launches new flight between Budapest and Gatwick

Budapest Airport welcomes the announcement by Norwegian Air Shuttle to launch three flights a week between Budapest and London Gatwick Airport. This takes the number of cities directly accessible from the Hungarian capital with the Norwegian low cost carrier to five. The new service will be launched as of the next summer schedule, from 30 March 2014, with tickets already available through Norwegian’s booking system.


Norwegian Air Shuttle has announced new flights to be launched as of the next summer schedule season, at a press conference held in London. Amongst other services, as of the spring of 2014, the low cost carrier will fly three times a week between Gatwick Airport and Budapest. The new flight will land in the Hungarian capital on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons at 14:45, before leaving for London at 15:15, with a turnaround time of 30 minutes. On Sundays, it will arrive half an hour later, at 15:15, and depart at 15:45.

Norwegian’s last announcement of a new flight from Budapest came in December 2012, which saw Helsinki added to their existing destinations of Stockholm, Oslo and Copenhagen, as of this summer. Currently, the low cost carrier operates 24 times a week between Budapest and Northern Europe, which will increase to nearly thirty after the launch of the new London-Gatwick service. Tickets for the new flight are already available through Norwegian’s booking system, starting from a promotional price of 29.90 GBP (approximately 10 500 HUF).

“We welcome the announcement from Norwegian about their new London Gatwick-Budapest flight, which takes the total number of their routes from Budapest to five, with London complementing their services to Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm and Helsinki. Today’s announcement shows once again that there is still considerable demand between Budapest and London, and the new Gatwick service by Norwegian will provide more options for passengers when selecting their airline of choice to the four London airports,” commented Kam Jandu, chief commercial officer for Budapest Airport. “As Norwegian are one of the fastest growing airlines at Budapest Airport and in Europe, we have no doubt that this new route will soon become as successful as all services connecting the Hungarian and English capitals,” he added.

Although Norwegian operates as a low cost carrier, it offers a number of services on its flights which are unusual in the low cost segment. For example, it was the first in Europe to introduce a wireless broadband internet (WiFi) service on board its aircraft. It is also noteworthy that in addition to its fleet of narrow-body regional aircraft (Boeing 737s), it has purchased three brand new intercontinental Boeing 787 Dreamliners to fly its long haul routes launched this year, including from Oslo and Stockholm to New York and Bangkok.


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Airport chapel reopens

Following an intermission of a few years, the ecumenical chapel / room of silence at Budapest Airport reopened on 26 November. The facility was fitted out by the airport operator as part of its own development project.


The former "Dona nobis pacem" chapel, handed over in December 1998, had to be temporarily closed due to the construction of the new central passenger hall called the SkyCourt in 2009. The new ecumenical chapel / room of silence is located on the mezzanine level of Terminal 2B, and is open to the followers of all religions and denominations.



As with the previous facility, the primary objective for Budapest Airport was to provide an appropriate location and conditions for passengers and visitors seeking inner, spiritual silence and peace before or after their journey. Accordingly, the chapel is open to all visitors, irrespective of religious denomination.

In accordance with previous practice, the chapel / room of silence will serve as the home of the Airport Chaplaincy, and will be operated by Budapest Airport.

Santa Claus lands in Budapest with Finnair

Children in Hungary traditionally receive gifts from Santa Claus on 6 December, but the real Finnish Santa Klaus, Joulupukki has been in Hungary since 30 November, when he landed on board the scheduled Finnair flight from Helsinki.


Mikulas

The bearded Christmas figure was welcomed at the airport by Pasi Tuominen, the Finnish ambassador to Budapest, along with kindergarteners from Vecsés and schoolchildren from Lipót. Joulopukki welcomed the children with some Hungarian words (and of course with sweets), who returned the favor by singing Christmas songs.


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El Al enters the low cost sector

As of next March, UP, the low-cost subsidiary of Israeli airline El Al will commence operations to Budapest.


ElAl UP

The Israeli carrier is thus following in the footsteps of its large European competitors, such as Lufthansa-Germanwings, KLM-Transavia or Air France-HOP, and has established its own low-cost subsidiary under the name UP. The new airline will initially fly to five destinations, Budapest, Prague, Kyiv, Larnaca and Berlin. UP will operate with brand new B 737-800 aircraft purchased freshly from Boeing, and a recognizable "cloudy" paint design. It is no coincidence that Budapest is amongst the first destinations, since Wizz Air launched a successful flight to Tel Aviv a year ago, creating tough competition on the route for the Israeli carrier.


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Another crunchy record

In spite of the icy December winds, Zsolt "Popeye" Sinka has set a new record on the apron in front of Terminal 1.


After pulling a Wizz Air aircraft with his teeth during the summer, this time he pulled one of the Rosenbauer Panther fire trucks of the Airport Fire Service, also with his teeth. The total mass of the foam-based fire truck is nearly 40 tons. Its huge tires, which hug the concrete on an area of more than half a meter, making it even more difficult to pull. "Popeye" still managed to pull the Panther to a distance of 28.2 meters in less than a minute, yielding him another Guiness world record.


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ZOLI!

In spite of the icy December winds, Zsolt "Popeye" Sinka has set a new record on the apron in front of Terminal 1.


After pulling a Wizz Air aircraft with his teeth during the summer, this time he pulled one of the Rosenbauer Panther fire trucks of the Airport Fire Service, also with his teeth. The total mass of the foam-based fire truck is nearly 40 tons. Its huge tires, which hug the concrete on an area of more than half a meter, making it even more difficult to pull. "Popeye" still managed to pull the Panther to a distance of 28.2 meters in less than a minute, yielding him another Guiness world record.


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