Sat, Feb 04, 2012
Second European Carrier In A Week To Suspend Operations
A second European airline has folded up its tent this week.
Hungary-based Malev Airline grounded all its planes Friday, ending
a reported 66 years of continuous service. Spain's Spanair entered
bankruptcy proceedings and suspended operations last weekend.
USA Today reports that the airline was reportedly teetering on
the edge of insolvency for some time, but was pushed over the edge
when Tel Aviv airport required it to pay for its fuel and other
services in advance. The gounding affected some 7,200 passengers
with tickets or in transit.
On its website, Malev tells passengers "Concerning your travel,
we suggest that you ask other airlines about their offers or, if
possible, you choose an alternative method of transport," and
outlines resources customers can take under Hungarian law.
Malev CEO Lorant Limburger said the effect snowballed, with more
and more suppliers and partners asking for payments up front. "no
company can honor payments months in advance," he said, according
to the French news service AFP.
The news service reports that Malev's partners became "jittery"
through the month of January as the EC had ordered the airline to
repay state incentives it had received from 2007 to 2010. It would
have amounted to about $171 million, or it's entire revenue from
But Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Organ said he is hopeful the
airline will be able to fly again. Despite the ongoing European
debt crisis, "I believe a restart is not impossible," he said.
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