BUD to construct new freight center

Budapest Airport (BUD) is expanding its freight handling capacity with the construction of a dedicated freight center called “Cargo City,” as part of the hub’s BUD:2020 Development Program that aims to “develop its role as the leading gateway in the Central Eastern European region.”

The more than US$38 million investment will encompass a 20,000 square-meter handling facility and dedicated 747-8F freighter stands.

The airport processed a record 127,145 tonnes of cargo in 2017, up 13.4 percent from the previous year. Since the conception of its capacity expansion plan, the airport has added two facilities that total 16,000 square meters to accommodate “increasing volumes from the express and e-commerce business.”

Over the past year, the airport has seen new forwarders and airlines commence operations onsite, including Swiss forwarding giant Kuehne + Nagel (K+N), which began serving clients at the airport over the summer.

AirBridgeCargo and Silk Way West Airlines are the two most recent cargo carriers to launch services through the hub, now tallying five cargo-only operators at BUD.

René Droese, executive director of property and cargo at the airport, said BUD’s other three all-cargo carriers – Cargolux, Turkish Cargo and Qatar Airways Cargo – are increasing volumes through the hub and named combination carriers LOT, American Airlines, Qatar Airways, Emirates, Air China and Air Canada Rouge, as its major belly-capacity players.

The timeline of the new facility is yet to be determined, but construction is currently under way.

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