Budapest deals with Malév Collapse

Hungarian flag-carrier Malév ceased flying on February 3 (see Airports International March 2012) after the Hungarian Government withdrew funding.  The airline had filed for bankruptcy protection on January 30 with debts of $270m after the European Commission had ruled against any further state support, and called on Malév to repay up to $390m of what it deemed had been “unlawful” state aid.
Budapest Airport’s Crisis Control Centre said it had successfully managed the immediate effects of the airline’s collapse, ensuring that stranded passengers were attended to in the best possible way.  Airlines including British Airways, Air France, KLM, Germanwings and Brussels Airlines helped by increasing frequency on their existing Budapest connections, while Lufthansa and Wizz Air announced new routes to help market recovery.   airberlin also responded quickly with the launch of a new service between Budapest and Berlin commencing on February 6.
Jost Lammers, Budapest Airport’s CEO, said: “We are, of course, saddened by the collapse of Malév.  But we now move into the post-Malév era with a degree of optimism.  We’re open for business as usual and would like to thank the airlines who have already stepped in to operate some of the routes previously flown by Malév – we will continue to work with these airlines and others, with a view to offering sensible long-term solutions.”