Budapest Airport sees its first direct Seoul-Budapest cargo flight after Korean Air’s B777F was welcomed on the apron of Budapest Airport’s new BUD Cargo City on 21 February.
The aerial connection is not only an excellent opportunity for the large Korean companies operating in Hungary, but will also constitute a significant competitive advantage for the Hungarian economy in the import-export market.
Korean Air’s new cargo service will operate Seoul (ICN)-Budapest (BUD)-Frankfurt (FRA)-Seoul twice a week. The carrier will also launch a three times weekly passenger flight between Budapest and Seoul on 23 May for the summer schedule.
South Korea became the largest investor in Hungary last year including prime Korean Cargo customers including: Samsung Electronics, Samsung SDI, Hanon Systems, SK Innovation and Doosan.
These companies are located some 1.5–2 hours by road from the BUD Cargo City, the airport says. “The new flight will provide new, efficient and high-quality transport solutions for these businesses, as well as efficient transportation opportunities for small and medium-sized Hungarian enterprises to Korea and into Korean Air’s entire network, via Seoul,” the airport says.
Levente Magyar, Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade emphasised during the flight inauguration ceremony: “2019 was a special year in relations between Hungary and South Korea. The two countries celebrated the 30th anniversary of establishing formal diplomatic relations, and South Korea became the largest investor in Hungary, implementing projects to a value of EUR 2.5 billion, which is nearly half of the total investment portfolio. Trade also increased by one-third, compared to the previous year,” the Deputy Minister adds.
“Budapest being added to the map of Korean Air’s passenger and cargo flights is a real milestone in the history of Budapest Airport. We are especially proud to welcome a new airline customer to the BUD Cargo City, the cargo hub of Central and Eastern Europe, just over a month after its opening,” said Rolf Schnitzler, the CEO Budapest Airport. “The direct aerial connection is not only a huge advantage for Hungarian and international companies, but also an opportunity for Hungary and the Hungarian capital airport to become the number one cargo hub in the region,” he added.
“Korean Air’s new scheduled cargo flight and the direct Soul-Budapest passenger service to be launched in May further strengthen commercial and diplomatic ties between Hungary and South Korea,” adds Kyoo Sik Choe, Ambassador of South Korea to Hungary. “On behalf of the embassy, we will do everything we can to ensure that these new aerial connection should be successful, for both countries,” he says.
Similarly, Jeong Soo Park, managing vice president for Europe of Korean Air expressed his confidence in the new service. “I am very confident, our cooperation will lead our business to connect and both economies to make a fruitful result. Furthermore, Incheon airport is becoming a major hub for cargo traffic in East Asia and Budapest will take advantageous position in the Central European market.”
In January 2020, Budapest Airport opened its new cargo base, the BUD Cargo City, which increases the airport’s total cargo handling capacity to 250,000 tonnes per year, with its world-class infrastructure and favourable location.
(L-r) Taner Sari, managing director, Celebi Ground Handling Hungary; Kyoo Sik Choe, Ambassador of South Korea to Hungary; Rolf Schnitzler, chief executive officer, Budapest Airport; Jeong Soo Park, managing vice president for Europe, Korean Air; René Droese, chief property and cargo officer, Budapest Airport.
(L-r) Kyoo Sik Choe, Ambassador of South Korea to Hungary; Taner Sari, managing director, Celebi Ground Handling Hungary; Levente Magyar, deputy minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Jeong Soo Park, managing vice president for Europe, Korean Air; Rolf Schnitzler, chief executive officer, Budapest Airport.