The first Emirates Airbus A330-200 aircraft landed on time on Monday on Budapest Airport’s Runway 2. This marks a milestone in the history of Hungarian civil aviation with the start of daily wide-body operations to the Gulf area by Emirates.
Emirates flight EK 111 departed at 8.20am local time from Dubai International Airport to arrive in Budapest almost five hours later, where it was greeted by a large gathering of media representatives, senior officials from Hungary and the United Arab Emirates, and aviation industry leaders. As usual, the first flight was greeted by the airport firefighters’ water canon “arch of triumph” on the threshold of the apron.
The daily wide-body Dubai-Budapest service answers the demand posed by dynamic development of trade and other economic ties between the two countries, and the significant growth of tourism in both directions.
Thierry Antinori, executive vice-president and chief commercial officer at Emirates, said: “Our new daily service to Budapest will stimulate growth and provide new opportunities for Hungarian trade and tourism, through greater connectivity via our hub in Dubai. Both businesses and individuals in Hungary will benefit from enhanced links that Emirates will provide to over 60 destinations in the Far East and Australasia, West Asia, Indian Ocean and Middle East.
“We believe this new route will support Hungary’s aims to develop closer trade links with the East, and be a catalyst for further trade and tourism growth. I have no doubt that our Hungarian customers will appreciate Emirates’ excellent product and award-winning service. Emirates’ new daily service will create additional air links to boost Budapest’s accessibility, and at the same time we are glad our Hungarian travellers have better access to our global network and vibrant home in Dubai, to enjoy the city’s hospitality, world-class attractions, warm weather and beautiful, sandy beaches.”
Jost Lammers, chief executive officer of Budapest Airport, said: “We are delighted at Budapest Airport to once again celebrate a milestone in Hungarian aviation history. For a fast-growing market like Budapest it is essential to have world-class airlines connected, and we are delighted that Emirates have launched their daily wide-body service from Budapest to Dubai, which will provide excellent connections through their Dubai hub.
“With tourism numbers to Budapest outperforming most European markets and robust GDP forecasts, we are confident that now is the ideal time to celebrate this route launch. We look forward to seeing Emirates upgrading the aircraft with more capacity in the not-too-distant future.”
The first Emirates flight to Budapest coincides with the opening of the airline’s new Customer Contact Center in the Hungarian capital, which will create 300 local jobs. This alone represents a multi-million-dollar long-term investment into the local economy adding to the jobs created by the new flight.
The new daily premium service alone will add about 200,000 passengers annually at Budapest Airport, meaning another 250 new jobs both at the airport and in the tourism industry in Hungary.