Budapest Airport welcomes Qatar Airways and its first direct flights from the Middle East
Thursday 20, January 2011
Budapest Airport welcomed its first Middle Eastern scheduled carrier this week when Qatar Airways, flight number QR943, touched down on 17 January at 13.45.
The Doha, Qatar based award-winning airline has launched four flights weekly between Qatar capital Doha and Hungarian capital, Budapest. The new schedule represents the airport’s first direct flights from the important Gulf region. Qatar Airways is also exploring the option of increasing frequency of flights and destinations, to and from the Central European aviation hub.
The Doha – Budapest (via Bucharest) schedules are:
Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays
Flight No. QR943 Depart Doha 0815 Arrive Budapest 1345
Flight No. QR944 Depart Budapest 1500 Arrive Doha 2355
Qatar’s Chief Executive Officer, Akbar Al Baker and Hungary’s Ambassador to Qatar H.E. Lá zló Szabó, were on the maiden Airbus A320 flight, along with a selection of international media and Qatar Airways executives. Al Baker and his delegation were greeted by Jost Lammers, Chief Executive Officer of Budapest Airport and Director of Aviation Kam Jandu. The aircraft was welcomed with a water cannon salute for the inaugural arrival, complemented by a ribbon and cake cutting ceremony to celebrate the new service. The airline’s arrival takes the total number of airlines serving the airport to 33.
Jost Lammers commented: “The start of Qatar Airways scheduled services to Budapest is a significant development in the positioning of Budapest Airport as an essential aviation hub in Central Europe. Until now local passengers wishing to travel to the Middle East or further on to Asia and Australia, have had to back-track to the major western European hubs. This new service to Doha increases the amount of destinations from Budapest, and further strengthens our strategic position regionally.”
The aircraft features 12 Business Class seats and up to 165 Economy Class seats. Lead in prices for the new service from Budapest to Bangkok begin at 648 Euros, to Kuala Lumpur at 591 Euros and to Melbourne at 1,120 Euros. “Qatar Airways has
already seen strong forward bookings for Budapest and we will be seriously considering boosting our operations in the near future as we acquire more aircraft,” said Qatar Airways CEO, Mr Al Baker.
Currently 20% of passengers travelling through Budapest Airport are from neighbouring countries. This is anticipated to increase with the launch of the Doha service. The new route is also likely to generate an increased interest in tourism to Budapest, one of Europe’s most visited cities.
“We have been talking with Middle Eastern airlines for some time and are extremely pleased that Qatar Airways, a renowned prestigious carrier, is the first to recognise the potential this region offers,” commented Lammers. For inbound tourism Qatar Airways’ timetable enables a viable four-day vacation in Budapest for those living and working in the Middle East. “We very much hope this will further raise the profile of our beautiful city,” continued Lammers.
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