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The Traveller's Magazine
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In the midst of heavy financial struggles, Hungary’s national airline was grounded last week with a lack of sufficient liquidity. The entire fleet is grounded until further notice.

Info from Hungary isn’t looking good for Malev. Despite the decision from the Development Minitry to grant special status (as a company owned by the State) in order to avoid bankruptcy, the airline’s fleet was entirely grounded on Friday leaving thousands of passengers stranded in Budapest and abroad.

It would be an understatement to say that things operated as usual at Budapest Franz Liszt Airport (formerly Ferihegy) on Friday. 7,000 passengers were stuck at the airport holding tickets for flights from an airline with its plug pulled.


Flying with Malev?

As far as Malev is concerned, it’s up to you to find alternative transportation if you have already booked a trip with Malev.

If you purchased a flight ticket before the airline went bust or your return ticket is scheduled to arrive prior to February 29th, 2012 then you are eligible to claim a refund from the airline by email or post. All the conditions are listed on their website.

All passengers with questions concerning refunds and rescheduling are asked to get in touch with customer service:

  • From Hungary 06-40-21-21-21
  • From abroad +36-1-802-11-11

Malev’s financial woes are not breaking news, the airline has been privatized several times in its history before being bought by the State in 2010. The coup de grâce came earlier this year when the European Commission ordered the airline to pay back a portion of the state aid it had received in order to stay afloat in 2007 and 2010. Pay up or shut down: Malev had to shut down.

With government cut backs across Europe, it’s safe to say that Malev won’t be the first state-owned airline to call it quits this year.

Imgs: enbodenumer, LtbaSpotter / Flickr cc.

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