HUNGARY. Shanghai Airlines, in partnership with China Eastern Airlines, is launching a three times weekly service between Budapest and Shanghai. The route could have a significant positive impact on airport retail.

The link to China’s largest city will add 41,000 seats to the Asian market during the summer season, creating notable additional footfall for travel retail at Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport.

Retail stores at Budapest Ferenc Liszt International could be boosted by the addition of Chinese traffic as a result of the new Shanghai service.

The Shanghai route will complement Air China’s existing service from Budapest to Beijing, which saw a 5.2% increase in traffic last year. With the new Shanghai Airlines service on the roster, the Hungarian capital city will offer almost 192 departures to China, up 60% on last summer.

Budapest Airport Chief Executive Jost Lammers said: “We’re immensely proud to announce the arrival of Shanghai Airlines and the introduction of another direct link between Budapest and the Far East. Alongside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we’ve been working extremely hard on this project for many years to illustrate Hungary’s global economic strength and popularity.”

Budapest Airport welcomed more than 14.8 million passengers in 2018 and the airport now serves 134 destinations in 48 countries.

He added: “Shanghai is proving to be one of our major indirect Asian city pairs with an increasing number of Chinese river cruise passengers choosing Budapest as their arrival or departure point. With a potential market of more than 80,000 passengers per annum, the possibility of the service evolving into a year-round operation remains open.”