BUD: New management, new ground handling pact

This change in personnel was already apparent: the new Head of Budapest Airport is François Berisot. He is a long-standing management member of the French Vinci Airport Group and, for the past five years before moving to Hungary, was Head of Nikola Tesla Airport in Belgrade, Serbia, which is part of the Vinci consortium. Meanwhile, Menzies Aviation, too, has announced its intention to take over the ground handling company Airport Services Budapest (AS Budapest).

The personnel change at the top of Budapest Airport Zrt. was preceded by a change in the ownership structure. AviAlliance withdrew and sold its majority stake of 55.44% to the state-controlled Hungarian Corvinus Zrt. (80%) and the French co-investor Vinci Airports (20%) (See also: https://cargoforwarder.eu/2024/06/16/avialliance-sells-budapest-airport/ ). With its withdrawal, it was also clear that the previous CEO, Kam Jandu, who had been appointed to the position by the AviAlliance, would have to vacate his desk.

Francois Berisot becomes new CEO of Budapest Airport, succeeding Kam Jandu from the AviAlliance  – courtesy: BUD Airport

Major expectations
The Hungarian Minister of National Economy, Márton Nagy, spoke of a historic change in ownership as a result of the transaction, following almost two decades of developments driven by commercial considerations and limited state influence.
The new airport owners expect that François Berisot, in his role as Head of Ferenc Liszt International Airport, will contribute to increasing the airport’s operational efficiency, expanding commercial opportunities, and promoting infrastructure projects.

Menzies extends its footprint at BUD  –  Courtesy: Menzies Aviation

Consolidating ground handling activities
Meanwhile, Menzies Aviation also announced that it has taken over ground handling agent, AS Budapest, for an undisclosed amount.AS Budapest offers its airline customers a range of ground and air cargo services, as well as aviation security and lounge services.
As part of the new agreement, which is subject to regulatory approvals, AS Budapest will transfer all existing contracts and assets to Menzies Aviation Hungary Kft. AS Budapest employees will be offered employment agreements with Menzies Aviation Hungary Kft, as their new employer.

Menzies promises high quality combined with operational excellence
Speaking about the agreement, Miguel Gomez Sjunnesson, EVP Europe at Menzies Aviation, said: “Joining forces with AS Budapest not only extends our footprint at BUD airport, but also marks the next step in our European growth journey. AS Budapest has a long track record and strong client base, and we look forward to combining this with our international expertise and extensive reach at more than 297 airports in 65 countries. Together, we are committed to enhancing the experience for our airline customers, airport partners, and passengers traveling to Budapest, ensuring high quality services and operational excellence.” Menzies Aviation’s premises at Budapest’s Airport (BUD) Cargo City were expanded earlier this year, following a multi-million-dollar investment. Capacity was extended from an annual 49,000 tons to 85,000 tons, and available warehouse space increased from 4,000 m² to 7,000 m².



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