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A New Hungarian Airline is Born: Sólyom
When Malév went bankrupt in 2012, Hungary remained without a flag carrier and the Budapest Airport's traffic crashed by over 2 million visitors per year!
In mid-2013, a new airline was launched Sólyom - Hungarian Airways, but still not operational.
A new privat carrier came roughly a year after the demise of Hungary's flag carrier - Malév. However, it is still not operating.
In 2012, after the bankruptcy of Malév, low cost airlines rushed to Budapest's only international airport to fill in the market gap - Wizz Air, Ryanair, Air Berlin are just a few names of companies that extended their routes to locations where Malév had once operated. Even so, about two dozen "forgotten destinations" have remained in 2013.
Its name, "Sólyom" literally means "falcon" in Hungarian and is pronounced "sho-yom". The emblem depicts a rising falcon painted in Hungary's national colours.
Sólyom Airways was planning to commence operations with 6 Boeing 737-500 jets and 22 destinations at the beginning, but they're planning to expand and have a fleet of 50 aircraft by 2015.
30 of these will be medium-range, 10 will be regional jets and 10 will be long-haul intercontinental aircraft (the latter will most likely be Airbus A330 or A340 series).
In 2013, the new Hungarian airline is planning to employ 700, but the numbers will grow to 3,000 in 3 years - according to plans.
Sólyom Hungarian Airways is aiming at the premium segment. The low cost airlines are already strongly present at Budapest's Ferihegy International Airport, but Hungary has no national carrier. This company is planning to become (at least symbolically) the national airline of the country - although fully private and foreign-financed.
Sólyom's first 6 jets will all be 737-500 used aircraft equipped with 110 seats, 12 of which being business class.
Among the first destinations will be: Brussels, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Milano, London, Paris, Stockholm.
The long-term plans include extending to a vast number of long-distance destinations, namely in Asia and in North America.
So far, the airline's planes are still grounded due to lack of licenses required for operations.
Will Sólyom Ever Fly?
The airline was supposed to commence operations in August 2013, but the starting date was subsequently postponed and the only 2 Boeing 737 jets in their possession have remained grounded.
In October 2013, the rumours spread rapidly: the airline was unable to pay their employees due to lack of funds.
Some were predicting the bankruptcy of the airline, which wasn't able to obtain the necessary licenses to operate commercial scheduled flights.
The Hungarian news site Origo reported in November 2013 that the airline could start flights by spring 2014.
In mid-November 2013, the fate of the airline is still unclear and information outflow from the company's leadership is scarce and superficial.
About the Author:
Escape Hunter, the young solo traveler in his early 30's explores the World driven by curiosity, thirst for adventure, deep passion for beauty, love for freedom and diversity.
With a nuanced, even humorous approach to travel, an obsession for art and design, Escape Hunter prefers to travel slowly, in order to learn and "soak up" the local atmosphere...
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