A round-up of which airlines are in and which are out
2012 brings some major changes for overseas passengers traveling to Hungary's capital. Days after Malév's collapse, both American Airlines and Delta announced that they are canceling their non-stop flights between JFK and Budapest. According to passenger data, most of their customers were using Budapest as a hub and traveling onwards to other Eastern European destinations mostly served by Malév. From a business perspective the route cancellations are understandable; still it's a major setback as both US carriers leave the Hungarian market. In addition Hainan Airlines also announced the cancellation of its Beijing Budapest flights following Malév's demise. The last Hainan flight will depart Budapest on March 2nd, 2012.
The good news amongst all these cancellations is that more European discount carriers are expanding their networks to include Budapest, giving travelers more options when planning their trip. Increased competition amongst low cost airlines should also mean better rates for passengers on some of their routes. Here are the airlines that are either adding Budapest as a new destination to their route map or increasing their frequency in 2012.
Effective February 17, 2012
Irish low-cost airline Ryanair, the biggest discount airline in Europe, has 4 brand new Boeing 737-800 aircrafts based at Budapest Airport to serve 31 new routes to/from Budapest. Ryanair operates in Budapest from Terminal 2. The new destinations that are being added between February and July are as follows:
February: Baden Baden, Barcelona, Brussels, Dublin, Gottenburg, Hamburg, Krakow, London, Madrid, Manchester, Munich, Milan, Oslo, Paris, Rome, Stockholm, Thessaloniki
March: Birmingham, Bologna, Bristol,
April: Alicante, Chania, Eindhoven, Malaga, Palma, Paphos, Pisa, Rhodes, Trapani, Venice
Effective March 2, 2012
Wizz Air, the largest low cost airline in Central and Eastern Europe, already has a 5-aircraft base in Budapest. Starting March 2012, they will add a sixth aircraft to the Budapest based fleet and the following 10 new routes between March and June:
April: Cluj, Malaga, Larnaca, Sofia, Thessaloniki, Warsaw
June: Heraklion, Rhodes, Zakynthos
Effective February 6, 2012
Germany's second and Europe's sixth largest carrier and a soon-to-be oneworld member (as of March 20, 2012), airberlin has launched daily flights from Berlin Tegel (TXL) to Budapest (BUD). With the new flights airberlin also offers numerous connection possibilities from its Berlin hub throughout Germany and Europe.
The Berlin - Budapest flights operate daily. The aircraft departs from Berlin at 12:45 and arrives in Budapest at 14:20. The return flights depart at 15:00 and arrive in Berlin at 16:35.
Effective March 29, 2012
UK based low-cost carrier Jet2 will add two weekly, non-stop Leeds Bradford - Budapest service to its route map. Jet2 opened direct flights to Budapest from both Edinburgh and Manchester in 2011.
The Leeds Bradford - Budapest flights will operate on Thursdays and Sundays. On Thursdays the aircraft will take-off from Leeds Bradford at 8:30 and land in Budapest at 12:30. The return flight departs at 13:05 and arrives in Leeds Bradford at 15:05. On Sundays the aircraft will take-off from Leeds Bradford at 15:30 and land in Budapest at 19:30. The return flight departs at 20:05 and arrives in Leeds Bradford at 22:05.