Moving low-cost flights from Liszt Ferenc International to an alternative airport outside of the capital would be a “tactical error” and does not have the support of the tourism industry, the chairman of the Hungarian Hotel and Restaurant Association (MSZESZ) told daily Magyar Nemzet. Tamás Flesch told the paper the tourism industry is opposed to moving low-fare flights out of the capital, especially at a time when the sector is generating record turnover. “Forcing tourists to come to the capital from Győr, Debrecen, Tököl or Kecskemét at additional costs would be a tactical error,” he said. He argued that capacity should first be expanded at Liszt Ferenc, but also acknowledged the need to improve arrivals’ reception at the airport. Budapest Mayor István Tarlós recently proposed banning flights at Liszt Ferenc between midnight and 5:00 in the morning to ease noise pollution. He also floated the idea of building a smaller airport for low-fare airlines or moving them to another airport outside of the capital.
Hungarian low-fare airline Wizz Air already operates flights from Debrecen, in the east of the country, and the government has allocated funding to convert an air base in Kecskemét, in central Hungary, into a joint civilian-military airport. Debrecen is about two-and-a-half hours from Budapest by car. Kecskemét is about an hour away from the capital. Magyar Nemzet learnt from a source in the government that moving low-cost airlines from the capital to an alternative airport is “not on the agenda”.