News

Malev quits long-haul

31 Jul 2008 by Mark Caswell

Hungarian
airline Malev is set to drop all long-haul services from Budapest in favour of
flying closer to home. 

The move,
related to oil prices, has already led to the dropping of Bangkok
and will see both New York and Toronto (its sole
remaining long-distance destinations) scrapped in the coming months.

The carrier
will instead concentrate on expanding its network within Europe and especially Eastern Europe. In a
statement Malev blames “the rising cost of oil and the general world economic
slowdown” for the moves.

The
carrier’s remaining two B767s (which operate Malev’s long-distance routes) will
be withdrawn from service as they are now uneconomic to operate.

Notes
Malev, “Due to rising kerosene prices, the operational cost of flying Budapest-New York-Budapest with a B767 is
US$49,000 more than a year ago. This major hike in expenditure makes it
completely unviable for an airline the size of Malev to operate long-haul
services economically.”

Malev’s
last flight between Budapest and Toronto will depart on September 21 with the final service
to New York leaving Budapest on October 25.

Commenting on the move Doros Theodorou, Malev’s UK country manager said:

“This step has been taken as we look to the
future of focusing on where our strengths are, and that is our European network, primarily connecting West to East Europe and vice versa. This will not
stop us from offering our customers a global network which we can do through our
Oneworld partner airlines.”

Malev is
the sole carrier flying non-stop between Budapest
and Toronto but there are plenty of indirect
links via Frankfurt, London Heathrow, Paris CDG
and so on. An alternative non-stop
carrier for Budapest-New
York would be US
airline Delta.

For more
information go to malev.hu.

Report by
Alex McWhirter

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