Air Transat launched Budapest service from Toronto (via Montreal) June 17, restoring direct connections to the Hungarian city for the first time since 2008.
Dignitaries greeted passengers at Pearson International, who were also treated to a light buffet and wine. The flight was welcomed by Hungary’s consul general to Canada Stefania Szabo, who reported a 5% increase in visitations by Canadians to her homeland last year to a total of 34,000.
“Canadians are discovering the not-so-secret that Budapest is hot and trendy,” she said.
She noted that Hungary is “charming” beyond Budapest and that the city is also a gateway to other European destinations.
Ian Woods, director of aviation business development for the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), expressed optimism for the route, pointing out that there are 50,000 people of Hungarian descent in the Toronto area.
Transat sales manager Dan Prior told PressToday that the company launched the route based on client demand and following the successful launch of Prague last year.
In addition to being a unique destination in its own right, the city adds flexibility for river cruisers who can start their trip elsewhere and fly home directly from Budapest, he said.
Among those on hand for the event (shown here greeting a passenger at left) were Szabo (c), Woods (second from right), Transat VP Desmond Ryan (second from left), and GTAA’s Julian Carron (r).