Ryanair has announced that its first route to Israel will link Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport with Ovda Airport, which serves the southern-Israel resort destination of Eilat on the Gulf of Eilat (also commonly called the Gulf of Aqaba).
The Hungarian gateway, which is still commonly known as Budapest Ferihegy International Airport because it is located in the district of Ferihegy, has confirmed the ultra-low cost carrier (ULCC) will begin operating twice-weekly round-trips to Ovda Airport on November 7.
“There is clearly bi-directional demand for the Eilat-Ovda to Budapest market and all visitors can be assured of excellent service from the best airport in the region while appreciating the growing popularity of Budapest,” says Jost Lammers, CEO of Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport.
While facing no direct competition on the route, Ryanair’s debut in the Israeli market from Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport will give Ryanair a 13 per cent share of flights and seats on all routes from Budapest to the Middle Eastern country, according to Budapest Airport Zrt., which operates the Hungarian airport.
Upon Ryanair’s debut in the market, Budapest-Israel routes will be served by three carriers, according to Budapest Airport Zrt.
The Hungarian gateway saw a 20 per cent jump in Israeli visitors in 2014 and it expects to serve considerably more passengers this year than the 230,000 carried between the two countries last year.
With the addition of the Eilat-Ovda link to existing Tel Aviv services, the Central Eastern European airport will now offer 16 flights a week to the two Israeli airports.
Ryanair has already added more than 3,000 seats each week to Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport’s capacity offering this year, the ULCC’s stake at the airport growing 1 per cent between August 2014 and August 2015.
Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport has seen a 12 per cent traffic increase so far in 2015.
The airport’s route development schedule this year has already seen 13 new routes launched, including two new routes to Canadian cities and one to Beijing.
Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport is expecting three more route launches this year, in addition to Ryanair’s launch of Budapest-Eilat service.
Locally based Wizz Air will launch two of the other new routes. One is a twice-weekly service to Birmingham, starting on September 15.
The other is a twice-weekly frequency to Tenerife South, a service Wizz Air will launch on October 30.
Ryanair will launch the third route, which will provide daily round-trip service between Budapest and Copenhagen, on October 25.