Budapest Airport is significantly expanding its Chinese market with a planned new service from Hainan Airlines. Set to launch a twice-weekly operation between Hungary’s capital city and Chongqing, the Chinese carrier will utilise its two-class B789 fleet on the 7,458-kilometre sector from 27 December 2019.
Providing Budapest with its third regular link to the East Asian country, Hainan Airlines returns to the Hungarian market this winter after an eight-year hiatus: “Of course, we can’t ignore that eight is a lucky number in China so returning now must be seen as a meaningful choice for our new partner. It’s not every day that an airline as prominent as Hainan Airlines announces a return to your airport,” effuses Dr Rolf Schnitzler, CEO, Budapest Airport. “The fact that Hainan Airlines sees Hungary as such an attractive market that it wants to start a direct route from China is positive for both Hungarian travel and tourism, and for Hungarian business. This route will attract international tourists who want to visit Budapest and gives passengers even more choice of options for a direct link as well as numerous onward connections.”
As demand between Budapest and China sees a robust 18% year-on-year growth, the airport forecasts 220,000 passengers will travel between the two countries by the end of 2019. Joining Budapest’s existing links to Beijing and Shanghai, Hainan Airlines’ new flights strengthen the importance of the Chinese market to Hungary.
Liu Jichun, VP, Hainan Airlines, sees a bright future for the new route: “In recent years, the market demand for economic exchanges, business travel and outbound travel between China and Hungary has become increasingly strong, and the number of Chinese tourists to Hungary has continued to grow. The opening of the Chongqing-Budapest route will provide passengers with more flexible travel options and will facilitate exchanges and cooperation between China and Hungary in economic and cultural aspects.” Jichun added: “Chongqing is one of our major hubs in the West of China, and we have flights to dozens of domestic cities from there, so passengers from Budapest will be able to make connections to other Chinese cities more convenient.”