Civil effort underway to launch new Hungarian national air carrier

Hungary’s Civil Society for the Establishment of a New Hungarian Airline hopes to wind up talks with Asian, Arab and European investors and lenders by December, Peter Leavai, who heads the initiative that seeks to replace failed national carrier Malev, told

Laszlo Csiky, the society’s co-head, said USD 600m-800m of credit is expected “if the talks are very successful”. The Civil Society for the Establishment of a New Hungarian Airline envisions a conventional airline, but one that takes into account the experience of its low-fare peers and outsources all maintenance and other services, Mr Levai said. The airline could be established as soon as the second half of September, after which it would form joint ventures or subsidiaries in which it is a minority partner with peers in destination markets, he added.

He said such partnerships were already being established in the United States and Africa. Mr Csiky said the new airline would target markets in Asia and Africa, ones that still do not have a firm presence in Europe. The carrier could launch scheduled flights by March already, he added. The airline, dubbed Hungarian World Airways, is expected to carry 10m passengers in its first year, generating USD 9bn, said. It targets profit of USD 260m by its third year, the website of business weekly HVG added.

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