The coronavirus pandemic had a strong impact on aviation as a whole in 2020; 1.7 billion aerial passengers “vanished” in Europe, and annual traffic at Ferenc Liszt International Airport was 3.86 million passengers, as opposed to 16. 2 million in 2019. Budapest Airport expects passenger numbers to increase from the summer schedule period, and awaits the gradually surging traffic with a safe, renewed environment and even higher service quality.
Budapest Airport handled a total of 3 859 379 arriving and departing passengers in 2020, registering a 76% decline from last year. This huge drop is not a unique phenomenon by any means; according to EuroControl, 1.7 billion passengers “vanished” from aviation in Europe last year and the number of flights decreased by 6 million, due to the coronavirus pandemic and the related national restrictions.
Despite the difficulties of last year, Ferenc Liszt International Airport welcomed and launched flights continuously in 2020. Thanks to the responsible financial management of the previous years and our financially strong owners, the operation of Budapest Airport remains stable; the company’s financing is ensured.
Thus, the development of the airport continued even during the coronavirus pandemic.
Although the volume from 2019, in respect of passenger traffic, could return by 2022-2023, Dr. Rolf Schnitzler, the CEO of Budapest Airport stated that passenger numbers are expected to increase from the 2021 summer schedule period, which is of course greatly dependent on the availability and the effectiveness of the coronavirus vaccine and the course of the pandemic. “Budapest Airport is ready for the restart of traffic,” he emphasized. “Although we experienced a significant setback last year, work at Budapest Airport did not stop.
Countless investment projects have been completed, and we used the period of low traffic for developments that would have been difficult to implement during normal traffic conditions. A renewed and modern environment awaits the return of passengers, thanks to last year’s infrastructural, capacity expansion and digital developments. Passengers can be assured that the airport is safe from an epidemiological perspective – the health measures applied by Budapest Airport were also certified by international airport and airline organizations ACI and EASA in 2020.
Practically the entire airport environment was renewed in 2020; Budapest Airport handed over a new, 11 500 square meter passenger pier, where passengers can wait for the departure of their flights amidst convenient and beautiful surroundings, and a baggage sorting hall increasing baggage sorting capacities by 50% was constructed.
The area in front of the terminal building, used for parking, passenger pickup and drop-off, has been refurbished. The flooring in the departure hall of Terminal 2A has been changed, the walkway connecting Business and Terminal Parking with the terminal has become more aesthetic, thanks to developments, and offers protection from adverse weather conditions. Restroom capacity has been increased by nearly 75% and 11 new drinking fountains await passengers, who can find their way around the airport easier than ever before, thanks to the even more modern and clear-cut information system. Contact between people can be minimized with the automatic systems installed over the past year, and Budapest Airport has been safeguarding the health of passengers and staff with continuous disinfectant cleaning since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.