China Eastern Airlines announced here at a press conference on Thursday it had opened two new direct flights linking Chinese cities and Hungary’s capital city Budapest at the end of last year.
The Xi’an-Budapest and the Chengdu-Budapest direct flights began its service on Dec. 30 of 2019, according to Qiu Jie, general manager of Prague and Budapest office of China Eastern Airlines.
Both the new direct flights are operated by the Boeing B787-9 Dreamliner of Shanghai Airlines, a subsidiary of China Eastern Airlines, Qiu added.
Hungarian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Levente Magyar said at the press conference that Hungarian-Chinese relations have never been so strong as they are today, which is proven by the fact that in one year, four new direct flights have been introduced linking Budapest with large Chinese cities.
In June 2019, China Eastern Airlines began a direct flight service between Shanghai and Budapest, while China’s Hainan Airlines opened a new direct air route on Dec. 27 of 2019, linking southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality with Budapest.
“We expect concrete and direct economic results from these new air connections,” said Magyar, stressing that the number of Chinese tourists to Budapest has quadrupled between 2010 and 2019, and that the Hungarian government expected this number to be multiplied in the future.
In 2018, a total of 256,000 Chinese tourists visited Hungary, an 11.06-percent increase year-on-year, according to China National Tourist Office in Budapest.
Due to the ever-increasing number of Chinese passengers coming to Hungary, Budapest Airport has been putting an extra effort into services offered to Chinese travelers in order to improve the comfort of their journey.
The airport has introduced new payment methods — Alipay and UnionPay and WeChat — preferred by Chinese tourists.
For improved comfort and availability of information for Chinese travelers, the airport has also installed Chinese signs in the terminals in the second half of 2019.
The signs help tourist orientation at the airport, and also provide information about the most commonly used services such as VAT reclaim, lounges, meeting points, and bathrooms.
The airport has also recruited a Mandarin-speaking marketing specialist to provide terminal services for passengers from China.
Source: Xinhua – BUDAPEST