Budapest airport

Liszt Ferenc International Airport in Budapest, Hungary, reported a 8.9% rise in international passenger traffic during 2011 to 8,920,653, compared with 8.2 million passengers in 2010. This figure surpasses its previous high of 8.6 million, which was set in 2007.

Owned by German-based company Hochtief, the airport has undergone renovation since its privatisation four years ago, which has boosted passenger traffic. Budapest Airport CEO Jost Lammers said that the company was determined to continue its ambitious plan to turn the airport into the leading hub in Central and Eastern Europe in terms of traffic growth and service quality.

"Our aim is to consolidate what has been achieved so far and to carry on implementing our plans for the future," said Lammers.

The rise in passenger traffic was also attributed to the increase in passengers from airlines such as Lufthansa, British Airways, KLM, Air France, Swiss and Turkish Airlines.

An increase in flight frequencies, aircraft size and seat load factors also contributed to the rise in passenger traffic, resulting in a 19.6% increase in numbers over 2010. In 2011, the airport also completed a €100m project, which included the construction of SkyCourt and the new terminal 2.

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A new computerised baggage handling system became operational at the airport, adding 12 new departing lanes while two were added to the transfer area, boosting its total to four.

"The past four years since the privatisation of the airport have proved to be successful; we continued our airport development and investment plans even during the most difficult times of the world financial crisis," said Lammers. "This is now starting to pay off, and we can offer much higher service standards for our passengers and have increased efficiency in all respects of airport operations."

In 2012, Budapest airport will be further developed as part of the BUD Future development programme, with work starting on phase I of the new Cargo City project, which will comprise an 11,000m2 logistics/warehouse facility and 4,500m2 of new offices. Construction of a new engine test stand near the Lufthansa Technik hangar will start, which will help to minimise ground noise at the airport.

Caption: Budapest Airport reported an 8.9% rise in international passengers during 2011 compared with the previous year. Credit: Herbie