The Central European hub handles 72,161 tonnes of cargo, and prepares for new US flights Budapest Airport processed a record 72,161 tonnes of cargo from January to July 2017, up 19.6 per cent on the same period last year. The Hungarian capital recorded 49,420 tonnes of air cargo, up 16.7 per cent, and 22,741 tonnes of trucked cargo, up 26.5 per cent compared to last year. July figures grew 16 per cent to 10,729 tonnes, including 7,432 tonnes of airfreight, up 15.5 per cent on July 2016, and 3,297 tonnes of trucked freight, up 17.2 per cent. “Budapest has a balanced market share, with inbound cargo at 47 per cent in the first half of the year, and outbound cargo at 53 per cent,” said Jozsef Kossuth, Cargo Manager, Budapest Airport. “The high export volumes are testament to the continued industrial development of the Central European region. “All segments of our community, including freighters, belly cargo, and integrators enjoyed volume increase in this period compared to 2016, which was already a record cargo year at Budapest Airport.” North America, Central America, and Asia were the largest markets for Budapest Airport, each accounting for 45 per cent of total volumes, with the remaining ten per cent coming from the Middle East, South America, and Africa. The Central European hub grew thanks to new cargo flows from long-haul passenger routes, from operators including Emirates and Air China, in addition to volume increase from freighter partners, including Qatar Airways Cargo, Cargolux, and Turkish Cargo. “Budapest Airport benefits from an extensive road network to 20 European Union (EU) and non-EU countries within trucking distance of our airport,” said René Droese, Property and Cargo Director, Budapest Airport. “Together with the airline development team at Budapest, we have leveraged a strong belly cargo network, with Air Canada having already commenced seasonal flights to Budapest, and American Airlines scheduled to launch a daily service from Philadelphia, USA, to Budapest in the summer of 2018. “The Polish flag carrier LOT Polish Airlines will also launch six direct flights per week from Budapest to New York and Chicago in May 2018, creating an additional direct link between the USA and Hungary.” Budapest Airport is transforming its cargo facilities, as part of the BUD:2020 Development Programme, which will include two state-of-the-art express facilities, and a dedicated freight centre called Cargo City. Budapest Airport is sponsoring the Cool Chain Association Pharma and BioSciences Conference and the Air Cargo Handling Conference, in Budapest on 18th-19th September and 19th-21st September 2017 respectively.