Budapest Airport Forced to Lay off People

April 24, 2020

Ferenc Liszt International Airport has lost more than 99% of its passenger traffic in April, on account of the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic and thus, headcount reduction among the employees has become inevitable, according to a statement by the facility's management company Budapest Airport.

The document says that since the beginning of the crisis, Budapest Airport Co. Ltd. has taken all possible measures to protect jobs. However, a headcount reduction amongst the employees of the BUD group has become inevitable in the interest of the long-term and efficient operation of the company and the protection of the remaining jobs.

The coronavirus pandemic is exerting drastic impacts on the aviation industry all over the world. In April 2020, the busiest European airports all registered a loss of traffic of around 90% and airports with a similar traffic volume to Budapest generally saw traffic decrease by 99%. Based on the estimate of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), passenger traffic at European airports will not reach the levels seen before the crisis during the next two years, or even longer.

Traffic at Ferenc Liszt International Airport decreased by 99.3% in April, compared to April 2019. Whilst an average of 44,000 departing and arriving passengers went through the airport per day in April 2019, this number hardly reaches 275 in April 2020. Instead of the previous sixteen, passenger security screening is currently being performed through a single lane, all retail outlets at the airport are closed and significant parts of the terminal building have also been closed. The central passenger hall at the airport is practically deserted.

According to forecasts, people will fly less, due to economic or health-related reasons, once borders are reopened and air traffic resumes. In the coming two or three years, passenger traffic will therefore in all likelihood not reach the 17 million passengers forecast for in 2020, nor the 16 million registered last year. With consideration for the safe and efficient operation of the company, Budapest Airport is unable to maintain the employee headcount corresponding to passenger traffic of 16-17 million, and headcount reduction is thus inevitable, the statement stresses.


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