LONDON – Budapest Airport is once again going to welcome its long-haul flight to the US with Polish flag carrier LOT Polish Airlines. Hungarians may once again enjoy the service to New York non-stop from Budapest.
LOT Polish will now fly thrice weekly using the 252 seater Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner from the Hungarian Capital to New York’s JFK International Airport.
Balázs Bogáts, Head of Airline Development, Budapest Airport stated: “Today is as poignant as welcoming LOT’s inaugural flight to New York back in 2018 was. Four years ago, a non-stop US service was a missing golden route on Budapest’s network, and now, to witness the reconnection is completing the chapter all over again,”
He later added that: “Our fantastic airline partner believes in Budapest being a key market in Central and Eastern Europe and has established regional frequency which will ensure the success of this long-haul flight once again.”
The flight in fact was carried out on the 2nd of June, with lots of fanfare surrounding the launch. Bogatas added that: “Rebuilding long-haul flights remains high on our priority, helping to reinvigorate the country’s tourism industry, and therefore we’re ecstatic to see the return of this significant connection.”
The flight numbers are as follows: Flight LO33 from BUD 12:15 to JFK 15:30 on a Friday and a Sunday, and LO34 from JFK 17:30 – BUD 08:05+1 on a Monday and a Thursday.
This means that the Polish flag carrier will offer a total of 1,596 roundtrip weekly seats.
LOT Airline’s Footprint in BUD
LOT Airlines is not new to establishing a long-haul network in Budapest (BUD). Budapest, with the absence of its ‘national airline’, (if one counts Wizz Air), allows LOT Airlines to take advantage of the Hungarian market.
With many Hungarians diasporas in North America, especially in large cities across the US, LOT may utilise BUD as a secondary hub.
In fact, throughout the summer of 2018, LOT Airlines flew long-haul flights from Budapest to New York JFK, two weekly flights to Chicago O’Hare, and then flew once a week to Seoul Incheon. All of these flights were performed by the 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft.
A Monopoly to the USA?
This means that LOT Airlines will be the only airline to fly between Hungary and the US. Previously, American Airlines halted its Philadelphia to Budapest in light of the pandemic.
Aircraft delivery delays and fleet restructuring meant that this gave LOT Airlines an upper hand in restarting the lucrative market. But, this doesn’t stop American Airlines from re-launching the service once again.
LOT Polish is very strategic in network planning and route development, and never stops expanding beyond its Warsaw hub. LOT’s model is becoming more of a hub and spoke, by adopting the secondary hub at Budapest.