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REGIONAL AIRPORTS


predicted that the increased capacity from low cost couldn’t be met by the old infrastructure. “It was already bursting at the seams but with Ryan Air coming in we knew it would not work to keep it open,” he adds. This radical course of action, which was agreed within two short


weeks attracted criticism because terminal 1 was Hungary’s first ever passenger terminal. “It was emotional on a number of levels,” says Jandu. “A number of people, some at ministerial level, didn’t support the decision in any shape or form, but of course we had to do it.”


All operations were quickly relocated to terminal 2 but there


was still a huge vacuum left by the loss of Malev. The national carrier had operated from the airport with a fleet of 22 aircraft.


But even with the introduction of Ryan Air and one or two other carriers there were only 11 aircraft. “So we had so much spare capacity in terminal 2,” says Jandu. “The low cost


carriers in terminal 1 had paid Euros 5.60 difference per departing passenger compared to the fully serviced airlines in terminal 2, so we had to bridge that gap somehow with the new infrastructure. We couldn’t do it through check-in and we couldn’t do it through security because we wanted passengers to go through security and have a good experience.” The concept they came up with was an unusual one because


there are not many airports in EU capital cities that have a mix of low cost carriers and fully serviced airlines operating from the same building. The main point of difference for servicing the two types of passengers is focused on the gate. “The passengers have the same experience from kerb-side all the way through the terminal until they go to departure,” says Jandu. They then can take a bridge to the allocated gate, a bus or walk to a “basic boarding gate.” The airport says it took about 18 months to get the new


product right and it has cost about Euros 2 million. According to Jandu around 62 per cent of passengers now go through the “basic gate” system. ‘It is delivering in terms of operational performance a fantastic turnaround,” he adds. “Punctuality has certainly improved because passengers are not waiting for buses and they are not waiting for aircraft to move off stand.”


For more information visit: www.airportfocusinternational.com


AF


Kam Jandu, Executive Director for aviation, Budapest Airport


38 / AF / January 2014


airportfocusinternational.com


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