Airportal.hu writes that, with the beginning of the 2018 summer schedule, a direct connection between Budapest and the USA can be launched again, as it is among the plans of Budapest Airport.
According to Balázs Bogáts, the flight development executive of Budapest Airport, the Liszt Ferenc International Airport’s operator is negotiating with seven airlines about the relaunch of the transatlantic flights.
The airport operator is not only negotiating with European and American, but also third country airlines regarding direct flights between Budapest and New York or Chicago. These airlines would operate the flight in the frameworks of the fifth freedom right, which means that they can operate flights that depart to another country from the base of the airline, and then continue their way to a third country.
For instance, Emirates’ Dubai-Budapest flight could continue to New York (and fly back on the same route). By the fifth freedom right, airlines can sell tickets for all stages e.g. for both Budapest-New York and New-York Budapest flights. This solution is not new for Emirates, they already have two flights to the USA that land in European cities (Milan-New York and Athens-Newark). Bloomberg reported last year that the airline asked for the necessary permission and that the Hungarian government was open to negotiations.
Previously Malév’s, American’s and Delta’s flights served the route seasonally from time to time, but the direct connection was abolished with the bankruptcy of Malév in 2012 and the vanishing of the Balkan air traffic.
Despite the economic growth and low oil prices of the last years, American airlines only got to consider the relaunching of the Budapest flight. No further steps were made in spite of the determination of the airport operator and the Hungarian government.
There’s still no direct connection with New York even though, based on the data of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 265 thousand Americans stayed in Hungary last year and 600 thousand people resort to the flights between Hungary and North America (with transfer).
At the same time, Balázs Bogáts also told Flightglobal that even though the demand for direct transatlantic flights have been growing since the termination of the Budapest-New York line in 2012, the demand would only be enough to supply the flight of a single airline.
The experts of the airport operator have also been working on the launching of other intercontinental lines like Budapest-Bangkok, Beijing, Shanghai, as they see a lot of potential here.
Balázs Bogáts also added that Budapest Airport brought forward the construction of a new terminal withi two years at the Liszt Ferenc International Airport. The opening of the new terminal in 2020 will extend the check-in and the security check capacity of the airport.