Amidst fast growing freight volumes, the Hungarian airport has implemented a new structure for air freight sales and marketing activities. At the latest since the outbreak of the corona pandemic, it has become apparent that air freight is paramount for the entire business of Budapest Airport.
Due to its high economic importance in combination with steady volume growth, air freight has attained a leading position in the airport management’s development strategy. To further increase the pallet and container business, digitalization efforts will be given key priority, and a stronger focus will be put on special products such as pharmaceuticals or live animals. High on the agenda is also the further optimization of environmental issues in cargo, as well as the fine-tuning of pax and cargo route development strategies. These and similar projects will be put into practice as fast as possible, BUD assures.
New business structure
In order to do so, the airport management has added all cargo-related activities, including sales and marketing, to the Business Development division, headed by Cargo Chief, József Kossuth. In his role as Head of Cargo, he reports to Kam Jandu, Chief Commercial Officer of Budapest Airport.
The new organizational structure will enable the cargo division to benefit from additional synergies in sales and marketing, as well as innovative methods, BUD’s leaders state in a release.
“Related to the sales support, the reorganization provides closer cooperation with Kam’s team, the passenger route development colleagues and our cargo development within one directorate,” Mr. Kossuth reasons.
Many big points
By taking a closer look, the manager is convinced that there is a large potential for cargo in Central and Eastern Europe of which BUD claims a substantial share. In a nutshell, BUD’s big points in cargo are its brand new and spacious new Cargo City (32,800 m²), the state-of-the-art ground infrastructure, a cargo friendly environment supported by local politicians, very competitive price structures, and an increasing number of cargo flights, leading to a higher throughput and enhanced flight connectivity.
Under the guidance of former Head of Cargo, René Droese, and in close cooperation with the BUD Cargo community which includes airlines, forwarders, ground handlers, GSAs, the customs authorities and local logistics associations, the cargo business has been on a growth path since 2015.
Upward trend in cargo continues unabated
During this period, cargo traffic increased by 60% to around 150,000 tons per year and connections with full-freighters and belly cargo were expanded.
This upward trend has accelerated lately, as figures prove. In March, volumes increased 7.18% in a year-on-year comparison.
Main driver were medical goods coming from China either to remain in Hungary or to be onforwarded to neighboring countries. Since mid-March, more than 70 charter flights, filled with China-produced hygienic items, pharma products and particularly medical equipment, landed in Budapest, outgrowing general cargo for the first time ever.
In April, René Droese stepped up the ladder to become BUD’s Chief Development Officer. In his new function, he continues to support air cargo in the fields of real estate and infrastructure development, the airport announces in its release.
CCO Kam Jandu paints a rosy picture concerning BUD’s future role as a Central and Eastern European cargo hub: “We can build on a great foundation which René Droese has created over the past five years, including the Cargo City project,” he stresses.
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