After a month and a half, Budapest Airport is slowly beginning to revive: last week, both Wizz Air and KLM announced that they would resume some of the flights they had previously suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak, from the beginning of May.
The first flights from Budapest’s Liszt Ferenc International Airport since the introduction of the precautionary restrictions due to the coronavirus, took off on Friday. Budapest Airport said that passengers complied with precautionary measures.
Coronavirus: First Post-Lockdown Flights Take Off from Budapest Intl Airport
The first take-off after the re-launch of flights was a Wizz Air service to Berlin at 6:15pm. The airport and the airlines both emphasized that they make every effort to ensure the safety of passengers and employees at the airport, with social distancing helped by floor stickers and information boards, as well as marked seats.
Budapest-based low-cost airline Wizz Air will restart 16 flights from Budapest early in May (including flights to Athens, Barcelona, Berlin, London, Madrid, Stockholm), while flights from Debrecen in eastern Hungary are expected to resume in June.
Dutch carrier KLM also announced it would re-launch its Amsterdam-Budapest flight on May 4th. Other airlines, such as Hainan Airlines, Qatar, and Ryanair also started their operations with a lower capacity of flights, but the list may constantly change, so it is worth checking the airport’s website of the list of departing flights.
Before the re-launch of the flights, the daily number of passengers at the airport had fallen by around 99.3% due to the coronavirus outbreak, which has practically brought air travel to a halt.
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Compared to previous years, the average daily passenger number in April 2020 reached around 300, down from a 44,000 daily average in April 2019. Although before the coronavirus outbreak, the airport expected to serve 17 million passengers this year after last year’s 16 million, now they are only planning for 9-11 million people, while the airport operator said that passenger numbers were unlikely to return to pre-pandemic levels before 2023.
featured photo: Tamás Kovács/MTI