Firemen sprayed their traditional triumphal arch of water and there was a Lyon-style cake for the crew when Budapest Airport greeted the first flight from Lyon of budget airline easyJet, which recently began three flights a week to France’s second-largest city.
The striking white-and-orange livery of easyJet is connecting Budapest and Lyon on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, with flights arriving in the Hungarian capital in late afternoon and returning after a 30-minute turnaround.
easyJet has started the new service with some one-way ticket prices as low as HUF 7500. The route answers a long-standing market demand since the heart of France was missing from Budapest Airport’s destinations, while Paris has held on to its ranking as number two destination behind London.
Greater Lyon has a population of 2.2 million, putting it ahead of Marseille, and an impressive historic and cultural heritage. The city on the banks of the Rhône river is sometimes called the “gastronomic capital of the world”. It is a banking and research and scientific centre with a series of establishments ranging from universities to pharmaceutical laboratories.
Lyon is within quick reach of the French Alps skifields in winter and the Tour de France cycle race runs nearby in summer. The Parc Olympique Lyonnais stadium will host some matches in the Euro 2016 football championships in June and July, including Hungary’s third and final Group F qualifying game against Portugal on June 22.
Reginald Otten, easyJet commercial manager for France, said: “We are really happy to launch this year-round route which is an easyJet exclusivity. Three times a week French and Hungarian city-breakers and business passengers will be able to connect affordably between these two major European cities.
“This is the sixth route to Budapest from across the easyJet network and second from France, which shows the growing popularity of the Hungarian capital with its historic and cultural marvels.”
Budapest Airport Chief Commercial Officer Kam Jandu said: “We are delighted to welcome this easyJet service. I am sure this year-round flight will be a great success among business and leisure passengers alike in both countries.
“We have been working on this flight with easyJet for some time and they have responded to a very significant market demand, both among Hungarian and French travellers. Lyon and the heart of France is a great tourist destination catering for every age and every type of interest.”