Hungary’s Malev Ceases Operations

 - February 3, 2012, 9:45 AM
A nearly 66-year run of continuous operation for Hungary's Malev ended today. (Photo: Boeing)

Hungarian flag carrier Malev ceased all flying operations as of 6 a.m. Budapest time today, becoming the second carrier in a week to fall victim to European austerity measures. On January 27 Spanair stopped flying after a rescue deal with Qatar Airways collapsed. A year earlier the Catalonian government approved a €10.5 million loan to help sustain the cash-strapped airline, but those efforts proved futile.

Malev’s fate became sealed when the Hungarian government withdrew its financing after the EC ordered the airline to repay state loans tendered between 2007 and 2010. The move forced the airline to shut down after nearly 66 years of continuous operation.

“Although until the latter days there were prospects to continue operation and the trust of our passengers is unbroken, our partners lost their trust due to the information published in last days and they started to ask for payment of their services in advance,” explained Malev CEO Lorant Limburger. “It is also known that the owner, despite the best intentions, is unable to provide additional financial resources to operate after the EU decision.”