Budapest Airport has accelerated its efforts to become a major distribution and logistics base for China in the Central and Eastern European region by signing a cooperation agreement with Xi’an Xianyang International Airport.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed during the recent Belt and Road Forum summit in Beijing.
Hungary Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said: “Between two countries like these, with quite a distance between them geographically, strong economic cooperation is only possible if they are well-connected, which is why aviation connections, direct flights between Hungary and China, are of key importance.
“For this reason, we are delighted that a cooperation agreement between the airport of Xi’an and Budapest Liszt Ferenc International Airport is signed, as this agreement may link additional Chinese cities to the network where direct flights are available from Hungary, from Budapest.”
Budapest Airport said it will also sign a cooperation agreement with Zhengzhou International Airport in May this year, during a planned Chinese delegation visit to Budapest, to further strengthen aviation links between Hungary and China.
Budapest Airport CEO Jost Lammers said: “The foundation stone was laid with the direct connection to Zhengzhou, and now it is time to further intensify our cooperation with our new Chinese partners, and thus exploit the enormous potential in the freight business in particular.”
The Hungarian airport noted that the support of the country’s diplomats and trade promotion experts has helped it to double the weekly capacity of direct cargo flights between Budapest, Hong Kong, and Zhengzhou.
The support has also helped to improve the belly cargo links onboard scheduled Air China passenger flights between Beijing and Budapest.
Cargolux has been operating two new direct cargo flights per week between Zhengzhou and Budapest since the start of April.
In 2018, Budapest Airport launched a €32.6m project to build a new ‘Cargo City’ to increase demand from cargo operators.