MIAMI – Smartwings (QS) and aviation museum Aeropark are organizing a sightseeing flight over Hungary. This flight will be the first of its kind in Europe.

The flight will take off from Budapest (BUD) on October 25 at 10:00 local time and will arrive an hour later. QS will deploy a Boeing 737-800, which has 189 seats. The aircraft will fly over Hungary’s most scenic places, including the Danube Bend, Lake Balaton, and Bakony Mountains. However, weather and traffic may intervene.

Aeropark offers a complimentary airport tour after landing. It also provides free parking at the museum and transfer to the terminal from there. The flight will only depart if there is a minimal number of passengers.

Lake Balaton, one of the stops on the sightseeing flights, from above. Source: Aeropark

Not the First One in the World

While it is the first sightseeing flight in Europe, Qantas (QF) in Australia has already operated a sightseeing flight. It flew over sights such as the Sydney Harbour or the Great Barrier Reef. The QF flight sold out in only ten minutes. Royal Brunei Airlines (BI), Eva Air (BR) and All Nippon Airways (NH) have also operated sightseeing flights.

While demand may be lower in Hungary, people want to fly. The government closed the borders on September 1, crushing people’s travel dreams. The last domestic flight in Hungary closed more than ten years ago, making this flight a special occasion.

Additionally, there is another sightseeing flight over Hungary. A 71 years old Lisunov LI-2, HA-LIX flies over Budapest and the Danube Bend several times a year. Goldtimer Foundation operates these flights from Budaörs (LHBS) and BUD.

HA-LIX, the 71 years old Lisunov LI-2 approaching Budapest Airport. Photo source: Miklós Budai –

Good for Everyone

The COVID-19 pandemic put both QS and Aeropark in trouble. The aviation museum features a dozen Malév aircraft and a great collection of airport vehicles and buses. Among them are the Tupolev 154, 134, and Ilyushin 18 and several others. The speciality of Aeropark is that you can visit the cockpit and sit in the seats, offering a full experience.

However, Aeropark is now fighting for its survival as it was closed in the early summer season. Since reopening, it organizes events regularly and offers special airport tours. It has now started coordinating with QS. They have started offering airport tours, where enthusiasts can get to know in-depth details of the Boeing 737-800. On theme nights at Aeropark, QS Crew members tell stories about their jobs.

Smartwings has also suffered in the pandemic. The airline specialised in charter traffic experienced a reduction in demand. One of its competitors, Go2Sky even went bankrupt.

Aeropark from above. Photo source: Wiki Commons – Civertan

Featured image source: Aeropark