Illustration - Photo:

First direct flight from Guangzhou arrives in Budapest

The first scheduled direct flight from Guangzhou arrived in Budapest on Thursday.

The launch of the new direct flight “is in line with Hungary and China’s efforts to bolster relations based on mutually beneficial cooperation”, Boglarka Illes, the foreign ministry’s state secretary for bilateral relations, said after the Boeing 787-9 aircraft operated by China Southern landed at Budapest’s Liszt Ferenc International Airport.

Bilateral economic and trade ties are developing steadily, Illes told a press conference, adding that China was Hungary’s ninth most important trading partner last year and its most important one outside Europe. Bilateral trade turnover exceeded 17 billion US dollars and China brought the largest volume of FDI to Hungary in 2023, she said.

Illes said the government trusted that the Chinese businesses already present in Hungary would further expand their investments and that even more leading Chinese companies would choose Hungary as their European investment destination.

Hungary has more direct flights with China than any other country in the central and eastern European region, Illes said. She said the launch of the new flight put “an especially important region within reach”, noting that Guangzhou was the capital of the economic powerhouse of Guangdong province. Illes said South China was a particularly important region in Hungarian-Chinese economic relations, with more than 85 percent of Chinese investments in Hungary coming from there.

Francois Berisot, the CEO of Liszt Ferenc International operator Budapest Airport, said the China Southern flight would create “countless opportunities” for Hungarian economic players, business travellers and the tourism sector. The flight will increase the number of seats on flights between Budapest and major Chinese cities by about 56,000 to over 400,000 this year, he said.

Qu Guangji, executive vice president of China Southern, welcomed the launch of the new flight, saying it was not only important for the airline industry, but also a milestone in the two countries’ relations.

Gong Tao, China’s ambassador to Hungary, said the growing number of direct flights between Budapest and major Chinese cities made bilateral cooperation more comfortable.

China Southern will operate the Budapest-Guangzhou flight four times a week.

Leave a Reply