I had been grieving over no longer having the 20+ budget airlines we had at one time. At the time I needed an Excel program to keep track of them all and where they flew. We really did a lot of traveling for basically nothing back then. Those were the days, but there are some rays of sunshine on the horizon at least while we have sunshiny days ahead. Some of these routes are for summer only, so book early and make sure you are within the zone.
The Air France-KLM group created a budget offspring called Transavia. For Budapest travelers it flies to Amsterdam four times a week on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday using the new Boeing 737-700 aircraft. Of course it has other routes, but you have to go to Amsterdam first. KLM flies 3 times daily from Bud to AMS.
Wizz Air, who successfully pushed SkyEurope out of the sky, leaves Budapest for 34 destinations and has just announced a new one to Larnaca, Cyprus. This destination is only 2 times a week. Wizz Air has begun 2 weekly flights to Dortmund, Germany Wizz Air now boasts the largest fleet at Budapest Liszt Ferenc with its new 6th Airbus A320.
SmartWings used to fly from Budapest to Prague, but quit the route. It seems this low-cost airline has decided to give it a chance yet again, but with a difference. Instead of heading to Prague, there are offering six weekly flights to Paris Charles de Gaulle and later in April, Barcelona will be added on with twice weekly flights. Additionally, for those of you who trust charted flights to be reliable, SmartWings is scheduling weekly summer time (through June) only flights to popular Greek and Bulgarian holiday destinations: Heraklion, Burgas, Zakinthos, Corfu and Rhodes.
Jet2com is adding Leeds Bradford in the UK to their Budapest services. They started with flights between Budapest and Manchester, but then added Edinburgh over a year ago. This will make destination number 3. Way to go Jet2com. Aegean now operates flights four times weekly to Athens.
A seasonal airBaltic flight between Riga and Budapest has started once more. They will fly Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday & Sunday until October 26th. Depart Budapest at 14:15 to arrive in Riga at 17:30. Coming back, depart Riga at 11:55 to arrive in Budapest at 13:15. Originally operated during the summer of 2011, its popularity has brought it back for another summer encore.
Air Berlin is stepping up once again with daily service to Berlin with 11 flights weekly.
Travel plans starting in June. Consider Volotea who will provide three weekly flights to Venice starting June 1st. The day after, Blue1 will operate 2 flights a week to Helsinki, Finland.
After April 19th, Tarom will up their number of flights to 3 times a week heading to Bucharest. TAP is increasing their Lisbon flights from 7 to 8 a week. Not to be outdone, Lufthansa has announced their increase in capacity as well as new flights to Hamburg and Berlin.
The best news of all just may be that Ryanair announced it will return to Budapest to initiate services to 31 European cities.
Despite the demise of Malev the Hungarian national airline, Budapest Airport is going to be enjoying a successful 2012. This summer the airport will host 36 airlines, compared to just 33 last year, with almost the same number of destinations. Come fly with me.