Aer Lingus is crowned ‘The Fastest Airline in the World’ at the Budapest Runway Run 6.0

Aer Lingus Budapest Airport

Aer Lingus was crowned ‘The Fastest Airline in the World’ at the Budapest Runway Run 2018, with the Irish flag carrier fielding a team of 16 speedy runners, ranging from pilots and crew to revenue management analysts and the head of revenue. This is the third time that the carrier has won ‘The Fastest Airline in the World’ prize.

Aer Lingus was crowned ‘The Fastest Airline in the World’ at the Budapest Runway Run 2018, the sixth outing for the event. This is the third time that the Irish flag carrier has taken the prize, having previously won the title in 2016 and 2014. The winners of the other awards presented this year included Athens taking home ‘Fastest Airport in the World’, while other awards went to Hungarocontrol – ‘Fastest Airline Operator’; British Embassy of Hungary – ‘Fastest Embassy’; Marriott Hotel – ‘Fastest Tourist Company’; and Viacom (Nickelodeon) – ‘Fastest Airport Partner’.

Airlines represented at this year’s event included winners Aer Lingus, along with Aeroflot, Emirates, LOT Polish Airlines, Qatar Airways, Norwegian, SunExpress, SWISS, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Vueling and Wizz Air, while participants from Athens, Berlin Brandenburg, Düsseldorf, London Luton, Montpellier, Munich, Stockholm Skavsta, Vienna, as well as Budapest Airport, took part. Other aviation professionals from Airbus, AviaDev, AviAlliance, CONNECT, ch-aviation, HungaroControl, ParkCloud, Star Alliance and many more also helped raise money to support the fantastic work done by the Hungarian SUHANJ! Foundation and Anthony Nolan charities.

“It is a great honour that Budapest Airport can be the host of this aviation and sport event which is unique on the continent, and we are proud to see big teams of major airports such as Athens, Dusseldorf, and Hamburg participating,” says Jost Lammers, CEO, Budapest Airport. “In addition to supporting an active lifestyle and humanitarian goals, the run at our airport also serves as an excellent backdrop for an informal meeting of a multitude of aviation experts from different segments of the industry,” stated Lammers. 

Budapest Airport Runway Run

Over 1,100 participants took part in this year’s Budapest Runway Run, with many of the entrants seen here warming up outside the airport’s iconic Terminal 1. Consisting of 5km and 10km race distances, as well as 1.5km for children, runners raced down Runway 1 (13R/31L) of the Hungarian gateway, as the airport closed the normally busy tarmac for the duration of the event.

More than 1,100 runners entered this year’s Budapest Runway Run, sponsored by Airbus and Qatar Airways. The annual air transport industry’s 5km and 10km charity race was held on Runway 13R-31L of Budapest Airport on Saturday 1 September.

Budapest Airport Runway Run

Among the 1,100 racers taking part in the event was Kam Jandu, CCO of Budapest Airport, seen here striding along Runway 1 (13R/31L). While many of those taking part were first-timers, the runway has welcomed some new entrants in another form. Among the new airlines utilising Budapest’s airfield this year are American Airlines, plus LOT Polish Airlines’ 787-8s which now link the Hungarian capital to New York JFK and Chicago O’Hare.

Qatar Airways Budapest

Qatar Airways was once again one of the main sponsors of this year’s Budapest Runway Run, with the MEB3 carrier’s Manager – Scheduling, Corporate Planning, Mandar Pradhan, crossing the finish line with joy. Along with Qatar Airways, the other main sponsors of this year’s event included Airbus and Mercedes.

SunExpress Budapest

Among the airline partners taking part in this year’s event was SunExpress, with the airline’s Head of Network Planning and Scheduling, Wilken Bellman (centre) seen here hammering down Runway 1 at Budapest. Bellman went on to complete this year’s Runway Run in a time of 43 minutes and 40 seconds.

Virgin Atlantic Airways Budapest

Also present in Budapest was Virgin Atlantic Airways’ Network Planning Manager Chris Tibbett, finishing the 10km race in a respectable time of around 46 minutes.

Vueling Budapest

Vueling was also present at this year’s run, with the team seen here celebrating their achievement. The airline’s representatives made-up of Simone Marai, Pricing and Other Revenue Analyst; Maria Iborra Escalona, Medical Support; Antonio Pascale, Sales & Distribution Analyst; Maria Martinez Jimenez, Communications & Promotions; Adriana Cole, Sales Recovery Specialist; Jesus Monzó Faubel, Sales Recovery Analyst; and Laura Formoso Saborido, Sales Recovery Analyst. While they did not win the major prize, they could at least  support fellow IAG member Aer Lingus.

London Luton Budapest

Among the airports taking part in this year’s Runway Run was London Luton. Representing the UK capital airport in Budapest were Jonathan Pollard, CCO and Simon Harley, Head of Business Development.

British Embassy Hungary

Among those competing for the ‘Fastest Embassy’ title at this year’s race was the British Embassy. The UK was the largest country market, in terms of passenger numbers last year, for Budapest Airport, with airlines including LOT Polish and easyJet adding more services this winter. Representing the embassy were Gábor Imeli, Senior Trade Advisor; Viktor Darmstädter, Transport & Security Manager; Georgina Szilagyi, Head of Communications & Events; Stephen Bradshaw; Iain Lindsay OBE, Ambassador to Hungary; James Gregory, Policy Officer; and Barbara Revesz.

Anothony Nolan Budapest Airport

One of the beneficiaries from the money raised on 1 September was the bone marrow transplant charity Anthony Nolan, an organisation that is very close to Publisher Paul Hogan’s heart.  “I continue to be ever-grateful to Budapest Airport, Airbus, Qatar Airways and all 1,100+ sportsmen and women from the airlines, airports and air transport community who stepped-up to take part on the day,” commented Hogan.

Meet Carol Thomas – The Runway Junkie!  

Among the 1,100 runners in Budapest on 1 September was Carol Thomas, a retired American Airlines worker who was taking part in her 25th runway run, having previously taken part in runs across the world, including at London Luton, Inverness, Chicago’s Midway and O’Hare, New York JFK, Tulsa and Kona airports. “One day I saw a post card that said, ‘Run O’Hare,’” recalls Thomas. “And I thought, I’ve worked at the airport for 41 years, how come I didn’t know you could run the runway? So I signed up to run O’Hare.” Having caught the bug, Thomas plans to continue clocking up more miles on the world’s runways.

The Runway Junkie

Carol Thomas, a retired American Airlines worker, travelled all the way from Chicago to take part in this year’s Budapest Runway Run, with the ‘Runway Junkie’ telling’s Key Account Manager Kerry Parks all about her global travels, allowing her to take part in runway runs all around the world.

The winners revealed 

Once all of the runners had crossed the finishing line, allowing the airport’s operations team to get the runway ready for movements in just under two hours, it was time to head back into Budapest’s historic Terminal 1 for the awards ceremony. Here it was revealed who had won the coveted titles of fastest male/female; fastest airline/airport team; fastest concessionaire; fastest enterprise; fastest hotel + tour operator; and fastest embassy, while all participants received ‘The Bron’s Medal’ as they crossed the line. 

Budapest Airport Runway Run

The winner of the women’s 5km race was Budapest Airport’s very own Airline Marketing Manager Nikolett Huszák (centre), who finished the race in a time of 23 minutes and 50 seconds. Second place was also taken by an airport representative, namely Eszter Szöllösi, Recruitment Specialist (left). Third place was claimed by SWISS’ Rita Seifert (right).

5k mens race Budapest Airport

The next award presentation was for the 5km men’s race, with awards in the individual categories being presented by the airport’s CEO and CCO Jost Lammers and Kam Jandu. The overall winner of the 5km men’s race was, like the women’s title, taken by an airport worker, with Balázs Csuka, a Strategic Buyer for the airport (second right) taking home the coveted prize, completing the course in a time of 18 minutes and 42 seconds. Second place was awarded to Zoltán László Molnár (centre) and third to Tamas Gollner, (right).

Budapest Airport Runway Run

There then followed the award presentation was for those that took part in the women’s 10km race. The winner was Cecília Szőke, Marketing & Communication Specialist, KPMG Hungária (centre), completing the run in a time of 41 minutes and 54 seconds. Second place went to LOT Polish Airlines’ Agata Pietras, with third going to Aer Lingus’ Orla Gormley.

Budapest Airport Runway Run

The final individual prizes were awarded to those that finished at the top of the men’s 10k leaderboard. The joint winners of the 10k runway race were Aer lIngus’ Neil Murphy (second left) and Gábor Vas (second right). Second place was awarded to Gergely Kollin, Area GM Economy Hotels Accor Hungary, with third being taken by Kristof Petendi, MCC Duty Engineer, Wizz Air. With the individual awards presented, it was time to move on to the team prizes.

British Embassy

The first team award to be presented was the ‘Fastest Embassy’. The winner of the award this year was the British Embassy, with the award being collected onstage by Viktor Darmstädter, Transport & Security Manager, while Publisher Hogan highlights the great in Great Britain on Darmstädter’s shirt, in aid of the team’s impressive win.

Mariott Budapest Airport

The winning team in the ‘Fastest Tourist Company’ category was Marriott, with the company’s competitors collecting the prize from Publisher Paul Hogan and Budapest Airport CEO Jost Lammers.

Budapest Airport Runway Run

The ‘Fastest Airport in the World’ prize this year was won by Athens Airport, with the Greek capital facility beating off competition from peer airports including Berlin Brandenburg, Düsseldorf, London Luton, Montpellier, Munich, Stockholm Skavsta and Vienna, as well as the strong Budapest Airport team.

Aer Lingus Budapest

Finally, beating off competition from an array of other carriers, it was Aer Lingus which claimed victory in Budapest, winning the top prize – ‘Fastest Airline in the World’.


  1. I look forward to reading the newsletter but I am curious why you do not have any information about the annual World Airline Road Race, this year hosted by Air Canada & JAZZ Aviation in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. This is the 37th annual W.A.R.R. and we expect over 1000 participants from all over the world. Last year the race was hosted by Singapore Airlines and next year KLM is hosting the race in Amsterdam. check out the website From Colleen, WestJet Warriors Team Captain, WestJet Airlines, Calgary

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