Find out what happened to Malev Hungarian Airlines
For more than 66 years, Malev Hungarian Airlines operates throughout Europe. Unfortunately, in 2012, this airline company ceased operations and just within a couple of days, it was declared insolvent. Several people are asking what happened to Malev Hungarian Airlines.
Let us first give you a glimpse of its background which will be helpful to understand things out about this airline company. It was founded in 1946 and known as your typical Soviet bloc carrier until it was nationalized. It makes use of an exotic array of Soviet-made aircraft. Fast forward to 1990, it transitioned away from its existing aircraft to a more reliable type namely Boeing 737s and Bombardier Dash 8 Q-400s. it was under the state control up until the early 1990s when it was first privatized. In the year 2007, Airbridge, a Russian backed consortium was able to take almost 99.9% stake in the airline. It is worth over USD$100 million. In line with this acquisition, Airbridge promises that it can make the airline profitable again in two years with no mass layoff and solid passenger growth. However, in 2009, 49% of the Malev Hungarian Airlines was sold to Vneshekonombank, a Russian state-owned corporation. In 2010, this airline company was re-nationalized wherein the state acquired 95% of the shares while Airbridge retains the remaining shares.
It’s no longer a surprise that Malev Hungarian Airlines have been struggling financially which started way back in 1989. Some of its indications are the shifting in terms of ownership and even the management. But at its peak, it was able to fly to over 50 destinations in over 24 countries with its 22 aircraft. Since it was backed under the Hungarian government ownership, the company continued to receive state aid.
In 2012, the EU found out the state assistance given to Malev Hungarian between the years 2007 and 2010 was illegal and ordered that it has to be repaid. As per the reports, its total was equal to its entire 2010 revenue. In the same year, the financial situation further deteriorated and the airline company was unable to keep flying without assistance from the state. A year after, two of its aircraft were seized by unpaid creditors in Ireland and Israel. On February 3, 2012, it ceased operations and eleven days after, on February 14, 2012, Hungary’s Metropolitan Court of Budapest declared the company as insolvent and appointed a liquidator.