The first half of 2023 has been a strong period for Budapest Airport in all respects: the series of developments worth more than 100 billion HUF over the past 4.5 years and the outstanding quality of the airport ecosystem have been confirmed by numerous awards based on passenger feedback and the assessment of the airport industry.
Budapest Airport’s PR activities, airline marketing and annual partner event have also received accolades and an international rating certified the safety of the airport. Meanwhile, passenger traffic continues to grow, with the annual number of passengers likely to exceed initial expectations.
Budapest Airport's results in the first half of the year: rising passenger numbers and numerous awards
In 2023, June was the fourth month in a row in which airport traffic exceeded one million passengers, and between January and June the airport handled a total of 6,683,524 passengers, which is 26.6 percent more than the same period of 2022 and more than the whole of 2021. As a result, total passenger numbers for the year to date are now only 9.4% below the record year of 2019, exceeding previous expectations. After a temporary global slowdown at the beginning of the year, cargo started to grow again in the spring, and cargo volumes handled at Budapest Airport in the first half of the year was 91 452 tons, which means that the annual target of 200 000 tons seems to be within reach in the near future. At the same time, thanks to a series of developments worth 100 billion HUF over the past few years, Budapest Airport and the entire airport community received numerous awards in the first half of this year. In addition to the awards for outstanding service and passenger experience, the airline marketing activities of the airline development team, which is the driving force behind passenger growth, and a major PR campaign that strengthened the company’s reputation were recognized, while the event industry honored Budapest Airport’s Annual Awards Gala with several awards.
The best airport in Europe and the region
Ferenc Liszt International Airport and Budapest Airport have received an important, unprecedented recognition at the beginning of March. Airports Council International (ACI) has named Budapest Airport as the winner of the Best Airport of 15 to 25 Million Passengers in Europe Award. The ACI survey examines the quality of service at nearly 400 international airports based on 30 performance indicators and asks passengers, the most important target group for developments about their journey in person. The results provide a complex picture of the experience of arriving and departing passengers, from the moment they enter the airport, through their time spent there, to boarding. The next award was granted to Budapest Airport in mid-March, which also marked a jubilee for the airport community: Budapest Airport was named "Best Airport in Eastern Europe" by Skytrax for the tenth time in a row. The award is also based on passenger feedback: the World Airport Survey questionnaire is completed by people of more than 100 different nationalities over the eight-month survey period. Similar to the ACI survey, respondents rate the travel experience and airport services. After the passengers, auditors from the international aviation research organization Skytrax also examined the airport’s services and processes, and the organization upgraded the airport’s rating to four stars as a result of the three-day audit. Similar to hotel rankings, the independent experts rated Budapest Airport between 1 and 5 stars, but the process was tailored to airports: the rating analyzes all the areas that passengers may encounter, based on more than 500 performance indicators. This means that, following a number of prestigious awards this year, Hungary’s gateway is now in a similar league to airports such as London Heathrow, Amsterdam Schiphol, Barcelona and Vienna Airports, in terms of passenger experience. In addition, the company’s cargo activities continue to be recognized by the industry: after winning the “Cargo Airport of the Year” award at the Air Cargo News Awards last year, Budapest Airport was again a finalist this year, alongside such prestigious competitors as Seoul, Hong Kong, Singapore and Liège.
In April, Ferenc Liszt International Airport became the first airport on the continent to receive the international WELL Health-Safety Rating, which confirms that professionals are taking all necessary steps to ensure the safety and health of passengers and staff. During the certification process, independent experts examined five focus areas in passenger terminals: cleanliness, emergency preparedness, health, air and water quality, and stakeholder engagement.
Outstanding campaign activity and high quality events
Budapest Airport’s traditional Annual Awards Gala is usually a big hit with the company's partners. For the second time, the event won the UNICEO live communication solutions award in the category of B2B events with more than 150 participants, while the Hungarian Association of Event Organizers and Service Providers granted the Event Design of the Year Award to the event, organized jointly by Progressive Advertising Agency and Budapest Airport. The joint production of Budapest Airport and MediaFactory, Fly into Work - Stars at the Airport, has won the industry’s biggest awards, the IPRA Gold Medal, also known as the international PR Oscars, the CMA content marketing award in the branded TV programs category and the Bronze Blade of the Golden Blade award in the PR solutions category. The entertaining and informative series was broadcast on TV2 at the beginning of this year, to showcase the colorful and varied jobs available at the airport and the complex, challenging and skilled tasks that can be found there. The show achieved outstanding ratings and attracted many applications for positions at the airport. Following the success of the award-winning first season, Budapest Airport and MediaFactory have started filming the second season, which will return to the screens in the fall with new stars and even more exciting challenges. At the Routes Europe Marketing Awards in Lodz, Poland, Budapest Airport won the award for the best airline marketing in the category of airports with 4-20 million passengers. The jury was impressed not only by the company’s B2B marketing activities, but also by the growth in passenger numbers over the past year, with the airport’s passenger traffic again exceeding 12 million last year, i.e. 75% of the pre-pandemic level, despite the adverse economic climate. Last year, 13 routes were launched or resumed, and this year this number rises to 23. Thanks to outstanding marketing activities, a total of 121 destinations will be accessible from Ferenc Liszt International Airport in the summer season of 2023.