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Delays at Budapest Airport Linked to Record Passenger and Cargo Traffic

Hungary Today 2024.07.09.
Budapest Airport

Budapest Airport registered 1,557,130 passengers in June, 5.5 percent more than the sixth month of the record year of 2019, and 16.4 percent more than last year, Airportal writes. In addition, the cargo business broke all previous records.

As is well known, not a day goes by without a report of a delay of one or two hours, or even several hours, to or from Budapest Airport. This is no coincidence as in June, the airport recorded 11,287 take-offs and landings, 14 percent more than in the sixth month of 2023 and 2 percent more than in 2019.

This means that there is a growing chance of breaking the record year of 2019, when passenger numbers exceeded 16.2 million before the COVID pandemic.

In the first half of the year, a total of 7,887,000 passengers were handled at the airport, an increase of 6.9 percent compared to the same period in 2019 and 18 percent compared to last year.

Budapest Airport Sets up Support Points for Stranded Passengers
Budapest Airport Sets up Support Points for Stranded Passengers

Passengers waiting in the zones due to delayed flights will be kept informed and provided with sandwiches and water.Continue reading

Furthermore, Budapest Airport’s air cargo turnover in June this year was 25,001 tons, which is 9,136 tons and 57.6 percent more than in the same month last year, and well above the previous absolute record of 23,720 tons set in March 2024. In the first half of the year, a total of 133,747 tons of cargo was handled at Budapest Airport, up 42,295 tons or 46.2 percent on the same period last year. The last twelve months have seen a further increase to 243,601 tons.

Photo via Facebook/Budapest Airport

In recent weeks, the press has reported some extreme cases, with serial delays becoming virtually commonplace:

  • On June 26, a Ryanair flight from Paphos, Cyprus to Budapest was scheduled to take off at 4.25 p.m., but after passengers had boarded, the plane stood on the airport apron with the doors closed for 2 hours and 35 minutes before taking off at 7 p.m.
  • On July 1, Wizz Air’s Budapest-Larnaca flight was delayed by 6 hours, but many passengers still missed their flight after the airline had previously announced that it would not take off until 11.10 p.m., but it departed an hour earlier.
  • Passengers on a Wizz Air flight were allowed to leave Budapest for Sicily after waiting for over 30 hours.

The delays reached such proportions that the government was alerted. During the first week of July, two cabinet meetings were held, both of which focused on the handling of the situation, and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán even spoke about it in his usual Friday morning radio interview. The politician criticized in particular the inhuman treatment.

As far as the air transport issue is concerned, what we are seeing there now is in the intolerable category, and one cannot help but be outraged,”

stressed the Prime Minister, who added that most passengers at the airport are people who have worked all year and now want to go on holiday with the money they have saved up.

Gergely Gulyás, the Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office, noted at a government briefing on Monday morning that he believed airlines were two-thirds responsible for the serial delays, and that the minister was therefore looking at severe penalties to act as a deterrent to companies not overreaching themselves.

Experts say the problem is multi-faceted,

with the Russian-Ukrainian war and growing mass tourism playing at least as big a role as the airlines’ over-commitment, alongside labor shortages.

Budapest Government Office Reacts to Flight Delays following Chaos at Airports
Budapest Government Office Reacts to Flight Delays following Chaos at Airports

Passengers may be entitled to compensation of EUR 250, EUR 400 or EUR 600, depending on the length of the flight.Continue reading

Via Airportal, Világgazdaság; Featured image via Facebook / Budapest Airport

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