Compared to the major cargo hubs, 30,000 tonnes of cargo in a quarter may seem modest, but for the rapidly expanding Budapest Airport (BUD) the first-quarter figure for 2017 represents a new record in cargo volume, which rose 32.3 percent, year-over-year. March 2017 figures, alone, reached 11,536 tonnes of cargo, up 33.3 percent over March 2016.The Eastern European airport has notched some major wins recently, including a new 18,000-square-meter DHL Express and TNT Express office and warehouse facility, and the construction of new facilities called “Cargo City.” The new DHL Express and TNT Express warehouse and office complexes will open this summer, and Cargo City is on track to open in 2019.
When completed, BUD’s new Cargo City will have a handling capacity of up to 150,000 tonnes a year, serving the Hungarian capital region.
The latest figures add to 40 months of continuous growth, said René Droese, director of property and cargo at Budapest Airport. This growth, he said, comes as a result of an increase in new customers, including new freighter flights from Qatar Airways Cargo; the capacity increase and volume development of BUD’s current partners, including Cargolux and Turkish Cargo; and the belly cargo of widebody passenger operators, from carriers such as Emirates Airlines and Air China. The airport’s integrator market, served by all big four players (DHL, FedEx, TNT and UPS) also shows very strong growth, he added.
Droese accredited Hungary’s growing automotive, electronic, communication, pharmaceutical, biotech, machinery, medical equipment and live animal industries for the strong demand. “The forwarders transporting this cargo are keen to find new cargo routes and access more direct transport options,” he said.
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