The coronavirus pandemic has greatly affected the aviation industry, but airlines and airports hope that passenger traffic will gradually recover. At the end of April, Budapest Airport started to prepare for the restart of passenger services: the gates will be renumbered, and the information boards will also be replaced to provide better navigation on the terminals. In addition, Wizz Air has announced its schedule for May, and several flights from Budapest are planned to be resumed.
According to the data currently available in the booking system, Wizz Air will increase the number of flights on several routes in the second half of May, but this will depend on the demand and the restrictions in place.
The airline has announced the introduction of several measures to support physical distancing during boarding and to ensure the most sanitary conditions possible. Wearing masks on board is obligatory for the crew as well as the passengers. The aircraft is cleaned thoroughly several times a day, and it is disinfected overnight. The crew will provide sanitisers to passengers at boarding. Wizz Air also asks passengers to book their flights online if it is possible and use contactless payment during onboard purchases.
Meanwhile, taking advantage of the period of low passenger traffic, Budapest Airport has started to renumber the gates at Terminal 2 to promote easier navigation. Instead of the previous A, B, C, and D marks, the gates will be marked A at Terminal 2A and B at Terminal 2B, Turizmus reported. In the following weeks, the information boards at the terminal will also be replaced, and energy-saving LED technology will be used instead of the current backlight panels.
According to current estimates, passenger traffic at Liszt Ferenc International Airport could be between 9 and 11 million this year, instead of the originally planned 17 million, and it will probably not reach pre-crisis levels until 2022. During the period following the opening of national borders and the resumption of flights, airports are expected to welcome fewer passengers than before. People’s desire to travel is expected to return only gradually due to health and economic reasons.
European flights and routes are expected to resume first,
followed by other regions depending on the opening of the borders. Wizz Air has launched several flights since the beginning of May, and other airlines have already informed Budapest Airport that they plan to restart passenger service from 17 June.
However, American Airlines and Air Canada Rouge have already announced that they will certainly not operate direct overseas flights to Budapest this year.