Category Archives: Hungary

Ryanair open its Budapest base 17th of February

Ryanair announced that it will open its new Budapest base next Friday (17th Feb), as the airline confirmed details of record bookings on its 31 routes over the first 7 days following the closure of Malev. In response to this surge of bookings, Ryanair today announced further expansion of its Budapest base with a 5th based aircraft (from 26 March next), 1 new route Budapest to Tampere (32 routes in total) and 42 more weekly flights, with additional frequencies on Ryanair’s routes from Budapest to Brussels, Eindhoven, Gothenburg, Madrid, Milan, Rome, Stockholm and Thessaloniki.

As an example:  A return flight from Stockholm to Budapest from friday to monday cost 46 Euro.

Ryanair confirmed that this 5th aircraft (new Tampere route and 21 additional frequencies) will see Ryanair’s Budapest traffic grow to 2.4m passengers in its first year, sustaining up to 2,400 jobs in Hungarian tourism.

The day after Malev left us stranded

Airlines including British Airways, Air France, KLM, Germanwings and Brussels Airlines were quick off the mark by increasing frequency on their existing Budapest routes. At the same time not only did Lufthansa & Wizz Air increase capacity on some of their existing routes from Budapest, they also announced new routes to help market recovery. Air Berlin also responded quickly with the launch of a new service between Budapest and Berlin commencing on 06 February. Not forgetting the five new routes being started by Ryanair in March, the post-Malev era is well underway.

Hungarian airline Malév ceases its operation

Based on the Board of Directors’ decision Hungary’s National Airline ceased its operation to minimize its losses. According to this statement, after nearly 66 years of continuous operation, Malév aircrafts will not depart from 6 am 03 February.

Unfortunately, the event occurred which we had a greatest fear of and we wanted to avoid with might and main. Although, until the latter days there were prospects to continue operation and the trust of our passengers is unbroken, our partners lost their trust due to the information published in the last days and they started to ask for payment of their services in advance. This speeded up the cash outflow and the situation of the airline became untenable. It is also known that the owner, despite the best intentions, is unable to provide additional financial resources to operate after the EU decision. Considering all these the Board decided to order the cease of operation of the Hungary’s National Airline. We apologize to all of our passengers.” – announced CEO Loránt Limburger.

So that is that! No more direct flights for me from Stockholm to Budapest.

The other side of Budapest

When you research Budapest prior to your trip you will stumble upon the regular picture-perfect-photos of tourists spots. Here is a gallery of the other side of Budapest, beyond the tourist trail.

Upgraded Budapest Airport wins another

Qatar Airways began flights to Hungary’s capital city of Budapest in January. Response from travelling public has prompted a decision to upgrade the route within months of the launch. Effective September 14, the route will be upgraded with three additional flights from the current four-flights-a-week. And the service, currently operating via Bucharest, will be de-linked.

Budapest is on the go as a flight destination

SkyCourt, the new building at Budapest Airport’s Terminal 2, officially opened last week in the presence of more than a thousand guests. SkyCourt significantly increases the capacity of Terminal 2, from approximately 5 million to 8.5 million passengers per year. Further developments are proposed, which will ultimately mean passenger traffic at the airport will be capable of reaching up to 20 million passengers per year.

Budapest Airport give officals a sneak peak of their new SkyCourt

Officials from the European Union member states visited Budapest Airport this week to take a tour and review progress on the brand new SkyCourt development, partly financed from EU funds. The SkyCourt, when fully operational in March will link existing terminals 2a and 2b. and constitute a leap in the quality of passenger handling, “not only offering unique architectural solutions, but also an excellent travel experience, whilst still on the ground” according to the development group. Hungary is gearing towards becoming a central hub in Europe catering for a much wider traveller base then they have in the past.

Budapest future SkyCourt

As long as they take care of their Security Screening process and still serve Gulasch in the restaurant I will be a very happy passenger.

Maybe Budapest Airport can use this idea from Manchester Airport where they now launched Holographic Security trials. As of the end of January they  now have a pair of holographic customer service staff that brief passengers on security procedures, as they prepare to pass through airport security. So cool! I saw this for the first time in London when I attended a Research conference. Check out the video from my encounter here.

Worst airport security screening in the world

This weekend I stumbled across the worst Airport Security Screening in the world. I rate this airport as the worst based on my visits to Mumbai in India after the terrorist attacks, Colombo in Sri Lanka after one of their bombings, to mention a few. Budapest Ferihegy International Airport has the worst organisation in the world for handling security screening of its passengers.

From Check -In there at two queues that lead to the security screening. Both queues meet in the middle of the screening area and form into one. From this point on one of the handlers said that it would take 10 minutes to complete screening.  After 30 minutes I was still in the last queue. The main queue leads up to three screenings stations. In total there are five in operation but two where used for VIPs. Most of the time there where only two or three passengers in each of the VIP sections. After 45 minutes it was my turn to have myself and my luggage checked.  I had to remove shoes, a plastic/cotton belt and sweater. I asked why I had to remove my sweater and a plastic/cotton belt to go through a metal detector but got no reply from the handler, he just ushered me to go through the detector.  I spoke to some fellow passengers while I was waiting in the monster queue and they had only 10 minutes left  in the terminal building for shopping/food and a visit to the toilet before their flight was due for departure.

Warning to all passengers travelling from Budapest Ferihegy Airport terminal 2 to arrive at least 3 hours before departure.   If you are travelling with Hungarian airlines Malev, please Check-In online as this will save you another hour at the Check-In counters.

Budapest Ferihegy has been downgraded to “unclear”
The security status of Hungary’s only major international airport, Budapest Ferihegy, has been downgraded to “unclear” following an EU audit, the government’s aviation commissioner Attila Marton said last week. Among a dozen points on which Ferihegy failed to comply with an EU directive that came into force in April, several objects that should have been detected during routine screening made it pass security. The downgrade means that passengers travelling from Hungary to or through other airports in the border free Schengen Zone could now find themselves to extra security checks.
Source: The Budapest Times

Increased security mandates delays screening procedures
Due to increased security mandates, it is presently advisable to arrive at your terminal between two and three hours prior to scheduled flight departure.