Malev – The Hungarian Airline

Malev was the Hungarian national airline.  I say was because in early 2012 it stopped flying and disappeared.

I had the opportunity of flying on this airline once shortly before the end.  It was a completely normal experience.  No better and no worse than other national airlines.  The cabin and cockpit crew were good and the cabin comfortable.  A simple sandwich for my short flight was quite large and tasty.  Actually, I say the food was better than average.

I give my highest regards to the Hungarian government of 2012 for letting a loss making airline fail and not bailing it out.  It is the only airline I have heard of that was actually allowed to fail.  Unlike KLM, Air France, and especially all the American airlines that are allowed to declare bankruptcy every five years completely screwing their employees and the taxpayer.  So kudos for that.

I do wish the government would revive the airline now.  Budapest airport has recently been updated and is large and nice.  The country is advancing quickly, becoming a hot tourist destination and is positioned perfectly to become a hub for international travel.  Air China has recently started flights as well as Emirates, EgyptAir, Qatar, Airways,  and others.  It would be difficult to compete with WizzAir for short haul routes except to major airports, and I think long haul opportunities are there.

It is a shame that an airline with a rich history of starting with Russian equipment in 1946 and ending with a Western fleet in 2012 just disappeared with hardly a murmur.

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