Family, running and traveling keep BUD Airport director going

Hungary’s capital, Budapest, is getting busier with more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) coming, creating business activities and tens of thousands of jobs despite mixed opinions about the country’s political course.
Described as the fastest developing urban economy in Europe, Hungary is attracting more FDI mainly from Western Europe because of its corporate tax policy fixed at 9%, positive business environment and an educated and competitive workforce.

Air cargo and its supply chain in Hungary directly benefit from this positive development, keeping the industry busy and feeding its economy for more growth.

René Droese, Director Business Unit Property and Cargo, Budapest International Airport, knows this first hand. He’s responsible for leasing properties at the airport and the cargo operations.

It’s a big responsibility that Droese takes to the heart, constantly traveling to different cities, promoting their products and services. The result: nearly 60 percent growth in cargo volumes over the past three years while keeping a double-digit increase year-on-year.

Hungary’s automotive industry delivers about 800,000 cars annually, mostly German-brands for export overseas. That as well as the country’s growing pharmaceutical and tech industries keep BUD Airport Cargo busy all-year-round.
“We’re quite very happy with our growth,” shared Droese to Air Cargo Update in an interview in Munich on the sidelines of Air Cargo Europe 2019. BUD Airport is scheduled to open this year “Cargo City”—a sprawling expansion to its existing facilities as demand for more storage space and freight movement in Budapest increases fueled by its vibrant export-import economy.

“Once it is built, additional cargo will come. The air cargo relevant industrial output is booming in our region, including export and import cargo for the automotive, electronics, pharmaceutical industries and the very important e-commerce market. Our plan is to attract more freighter and belly cargo routes to our airport,” said Droese who is extremely excited about their project.

Droese began his career as a leasing agent more than 22 years ago, eventually moving on to airport acquisitions, before taking on his role at BUD Airport in 2007 upon the request of its new owners—the Canadian State 55.438 % (AviAllinance GmbH owned by PSP Investments), Government of Singapore 23.334 % and the Province of Québec (pension funds) 21.228 %.

Droese described the air cargo industry as somewhat of a puzzle where each piece in the supply chain must be included to make it whole.

“Air cargo is like a puzzle. It’s a community of people— airlines, forwarders, shippers, among others—you have to bring them all together. This is an exciting industry. I am enjoying it every day,” he said.
In his free time, Droese, a father of two boys, says he loves spending it with his family.

He also regularly runs, even joining marathons, when his schedule permits. “I love running. I run for as long as I can possibly reach. I also join marathons.”

And he also enjoys traveling. He’s been to so many countries and cities all across the world but admits, “I’ve never counted them.” South America and South Africa though remain on his bucket list.

“I enjoy traveling. It exposes me to different cultures and nationalities. It’s fascinating to see and learn how people think and behave differently,” said Droese.