Budapest Airport records 2020 as worst financial year

Despite last year’s poor economic performance, development programmes and cargo operations continued throughout the pandemic

Budapest Airport experienced its most difficult financial year in 2020 resulting in a loss of €110m (£95m), following its most successful year in terms of passenger traffic in 2019.

However, the hub stated that the operation and financing within the company remains stable.

Profit made from 2019 was spent on crisis management at the airport, including financing some of the operation from its own resources and market-based funds – totalling up to €81m (£70m).

Budapest Airport
Photo Budapest Airport

“Following a year when many airlines and airports globally have received significant state support packages, Budapest Airport has weathered 2020 successfully solely with its own resources, and is currently financially extremely stable,” said Chris Dinsdale, CEO of Budapest Airport.

“As the pandemic eases, we see a bright future ahead. The recovery has started, and we have begun hiring the manpower necessary for this. The airport is prepared to welcome moderate levels of traffic this summer, while 2022 is expected to again be a busy year, with high levels of passengers.”

The number of destinations served at the hub reached 153 two years ago, which was the highest in its history. Furthermore, the developing route network meant passenger traffic increased, reaching 16.2 million in the same year.

This pattern continued throughout the first two months of 2020, surpassing 2019 levels by 16% and 15%, respectively.

Passenger numbers began to fall in March, with a dramatic decline of 99.3% in April of last year. By the end of December, traffic reached 24% of the previous year’s figures.

Sales revenue of the company came to €118m (£102m) by the end of 2020 – 65% lower than 2019.

Despite this, cargo operations reached record levels whilst major tenants who did not rely on passenger traffic – such as aircraft maintenance and integrators – made up for some of the lost revenue.

Airport developments costing €167m (£144m) have also been ongoing over the last two years, with 50% of that sum spent during 2020.