Sichuan Airlines begins cargo operations to Budapest

A Sichuan Airlines cargo aircraft is unloaded in Budapest.
Photo Credit: Budapest International Airport

One of Western China’s leading airlines, Sichuan Airlines, has launched a cargo service between Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport in Sichuan Province and Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport.

The new connection between Chengdu and the Hungarian capital plays a vital role in Chinese-Hungarian trade relations.

It is a progressive step for Budapest Airport as a leading regional airport in Eastern Europe. The flight is also beneficial for the economy of Hungary as a whole. 

First scheduled flight

The first scheduled flight to Chengdu, Western China in the history of Budapest Airport was launched on the 20th of April.

The cargo run by the Chinese airline will now fly to the Hungarian capital three days weekly, utilizing the state-of-the-art converted Airbus A330-200 Passenger-to-Freighter (P2F) conversion.

Both the airline and the airport authorities expect that this route will be a success, as the flight will stimulate the import/export growth of the Hungarian economy.

It enhances e-commerce by allowing entrepreneurs and businesses, both large and small to take advantage of the capacity between the two cities, allowing for trade enhancement between the two nations.  


Chief development officer of Budapest Airport, René Droese, stated: “As a result of the excellent joint work with our cargo community, Budapest Airport’s role as a gateway for air cargo in Central and Eastern Europe is growing rapidly, especially to Asia, including China.”

“We are seeing increasing demand for new cargo routes and for increased capacity on existing routes, and we plan to expand our cargo connections, besides Asia, to Western Europe and the transatlantic region as well.”

“We are delighted to welcome Sichuan Airlines to Budapest and wish them every success!” he concluded enthusiastically.

The airline also shared its enthusiasm on the launching of the flight as freighter station manager of Sichuan Airlines Peter Xu stated: “The new aerial connection supports the success of the air Silk Road, as part of the Belt and Road initiative, further strengthening the excellent trade relationship between Hungary and China.”

He furthered: “Sichuan Airlines’ cargo network offers integrated, customized and professional logistics services for both Hungarian and Chinese companies, and the new flight will surely become an important logistics channel for the export of high-quality Hungarian goods to Chinese cities and vice versa.”

Breaking records 

In fact, Budapest broke the volume air cargo record by reaching 194,000 tons by the end of last year, which is an increase of 5.8% compared to 2021 and 44% compared to 2019.

The impressive news doesn’t stop there, as the continuous growth was also felt in March this year. The volume of air cargo exceeded the average monthly cargo volume of other European airports compared to previous years at  4.3% and 2019 by 49.3%.

The growth numbers are extremely impressive as the continent records an economic slowdown, which also has a direct impact on air cargo. 

The BUD Cargo City

The Cargo City was opened by the airport during the Covid restrictions of 2020; forming an important backbone for the economy and the supply chain of Hungary’s ailing economy. This includes the 12,000 people working in the cargo sector in the European nation.

The BUD Cargo City has been touted as a success. The city itself led to the construction of the facility itself. The expansion includes the adjoining cargo apron, the freight handling building, and warehouse capacities.

The plan will allow Budapest Airport to handle a cargo capacity from 250,000 to 300,000 tons.

By Indy Udol 4 Min Read
4 Min Read
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