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Budapest Airport breaks summer traffic record

19 SEPTEMBER 2011 Based on the performance data available so far, 2011 can be called the year of records. According to the totalized summer passenger figures, Budapest Airport managed to better the earlier record of passenger traffic from the beginning of June until the end of August, which dated from 2007.

There have been significant changes in the aviation market over the past years, but there is every chance that in 2011 the airport will register the highest level of passenger traffic ever.

A total of 5.9 million passengers used the terminals of Budapest Airport this year until the end of August, of whom more than 2.7 million (2 736 412 to be precise) during the summer months alone. The latter figure is just over 4000 more than the previous record, set during 2007, the year preceding the financial crisis. Total traffic registered in 2011 so far is also unprecedented in the history of the airport; it exceeds the figure from last year by approximately half a million, and even the first eight months of the memorable 2007 by more than 130 000.

The annual traffic growth stands at 9 percent compared to 2010; the increase during the first eight months of this year is still a convincing 6.3 percent, even with the traffic interruption due to the volcanic eruption in Iceland last year (when an estimated 140 000 passengers were lost in Budapest over 4 days) factored in. The growth in August seems to have been affected by the perceptible uncertainty of the international financial markets and the weak forint against the Swiss franc and the euro, as the fast rate of growth seen at the beginning of the year has slowed down somewhat. In spite of this, there is still every chance that passenger traffic will exceed the all-time high this year.

London is still miles above the rest in terms of the most popular destinations, thanks to its three airports (Heathrow, Luton, Gatwick). More than ten percent of passengers at Budapest Airport depart for or arrive from the British capital. Paris and Frankfurt are neck and neck in the race for second place, followed by Amsterdam in fourth. The Dutch capital has made giant strides in the rankings over the past year, with fifty percent more passengers headed there this year than during the same period in 2010, thanks to the KLM flights re-launched last fall and the transfer options offered by Schipol Airport.

“There is still a good chance that the traffic record from 2007 will be broken,” said Kam Jandu, aviation director for Budapest Airport. “The full service carriers are doing very well. The summer season was very strong, and it is not over yet, since September is traditionally also a strong month. This summer was the first “stress test” for the SkyCourt, and the building has performed admirably,” he added.