Budapest Airport had signed an agreement with China’s Henan Civil Aviation Development and Investment Co Ltd (HNCA) in the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the airport announced here on Saturday in a statement.

“The cooperation agreement signed with the HNCA is the next big step in intensifying cooperation with our Chinese partners and making Budapest Airport the leading cargo hub in Central Eastern Europe,” Jost Lammers, CEO of Budapest Airport, said after the signing ceremony, quoted by the statement.

The framework for future development, cooperation and exchange of information was laid down in the agreement signed by Budapest Airport and HNCA in the presence of Tamas Menczer, state secretary from the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

“Budapest Airport offers the ideal location for transporting goods between Europe and Asia,” Lammers said.

He also said Budapest Airport has invested 46 million euros (51.5 million U.S. dollars) into the construction of the new BUD Cargo City, with 21,000 square meters of warehouse and office space, an 11,000-square-meter forwarder building and a 32,000-square-meter cargo apron that allows the simultaneous handling of two Boeing B747-8F cargo aircraft.

The agreement has been signed in the frame of a Chinese-Hungarian seminar, focusing on the development of economic cooperation in the field of air cargo, within the framework of the BRI.

Direct links were laid down in April 2019, when the first flight between Zhengzhou and Budapest was launched by Luxembourg’s Cargolux cargo airline, according to Budapest Airport.

Since then, a cargo flight operated twice a week with a 100-ton capacity Boeing 747 connecting the capital city of Henan Province Zhengzhou, and Hungary.

The agreement signed in Budapest could provide fresh impetus for the development of aviation connections.

“Sino-Hungarian relations were never as positive as right now,” Tamas Menczer said, adding that this year, China and Hungary celebrated the 70th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations.