Hungarian flag carrier Malev has ceased operations following demands from creditors that certain balances be paid immediately or in advance. The carrier has been struggling for many years; those debts finally caught up. The move grounds the airline’s fleet, stranding several thousand passengers and leaving the company’s ~2,600 employees with an uncertain future. The shutdown was apparently precipitated but ground handlers in Tel Aviv demanding payment up front for services. Similarly, a plane in Dublin was not permitted to depart, supposedly citing the company’s accumulated debt as the reason.
The airline is relatively small, but they do hold 27 routes out of Budapest where they are the sole carrier. While it is likely that other carriers will step in to pick up some of those routes such changes will take time and in the interim a number of passengers will be inconvenienced by the service termination.
The move is also a blow to global alliance oneworld, of which Malev is a member. The group is adding other carriers, including Air Berlin and Kingfisher, but those carriers are also struggling somewhat financially.
This cessation follows that of Spanair from last week. Truly a sad time in the skies over Europe.
- Adios, Spanair
- Kingfisher set to join oneworld. If they can stay in business.
- Etihad invades Germany, buys controlling interest of airberlin