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EC Questions Malev's Russian Ties

Mon Dec 10, 2007 5:40 pm

The European Commission has contacted Hungarian authorities regarding the control and ownership of Malev Hungarian Airlines, the EC Directorate-General for Energy and Transport confirmed to ATWOnline.

The Commission is seeking reassurance that Malev still fulfills all conditions required to be an EU carrier. Doubts regarding its status follow its privatization last spring. The Hungarian government sold a 99.95% stake in the airline to AirBridge, a Hungarian company affiliated with Russian carrier KrasAir (ATWOnline, June 8).

According to the press release issued by the legal firm that advised on the Malev sale, "AirBridge is a holding company member of the Russian AiRUnion-Krasair Group which is considered to be the second largest Russian airline alliance after Aeroflot." AiRUnion combines KrasAir, Domodedovo Airlines, Omskavia, Samara Airlines and Sibaviatrans (ATWOnline, May 4). The Hungarian press commonly describes Malev as a Russian-controlled or Russian-owned carrier.

To read the end, follow the link.


Interesting. We'll see what the future holds for MA.
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RE: EC Questions Malev's Russian Ties

Tue Dec 11, 2007 12:59 am

Very Interesting! Thanks for sharing.

To be honest, I would be very happy if AirBridge Zrt. was forced to sell some of its shares back to a Hungarian or EU firm. MA's future is in doubt with AirBridge at the helm. The Hungarian Government should have never sold MA to the Russians, they paid next to nothing for the airline and they seem to be set on distancing MA from its Hungarian affiliations. I fail to see why MA is expanding it's network into Russia. It would seem that the new owners want to slowly melt Malev into the AiRUnion-Krasair Group, there was already talk about removing some B737s from MA and leasing them to AirUnion.

MA is a great airline with a modern fleet, good service, and a well built network. I hope that AirBridge won't ruin all that just to make the airline profitable ASAP. The airline has gone through 3 CEO's since privatization, it has suspended the transatlantic routes and will be laying off about 10% of MA's work force. Malev needs to enhance its ties with EU airlines and EU business, after all, Malev is the Hungarian airline and Hungary is apart of Europe.

Topic Author
Posts: 828
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2007 8:00 am

RE: EC Questions Malev's Russian Ties

Tue Dec 11, 2007 8:44 pm

Another round. ATW is a rather good source but... Where is the truth ?

Transport authority dismisses report on EC questioning Malev's Russian ties - paper

Budapest, December 11 (MTI) - The spokesperson of Hungary's National Transport Authority has dismissed a report by news portal Air Transport World claiming that the European Commission had contacted Hungarian authorities regarding the control and ownership of Malev Hungarian airlines, Tuesday's daily Nepszabadsag said.

An official of the transport directorate at the European Commission, who wished to remain anonymous, told Nepszabadsag that no inquiry had been launched about Malev's ownership structure but information had indeed been collected. This is the commission's obligation in every instance when a market player from outside the European Union acquires a significant share in a European airline company, the official pointed out.


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