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Right-wing support for the new Hungarian airline

August 12th, 2013

Magyar Nemzet castigates left-liberal critics who voice doubts about the seriousness of the “Sólyom” project.

Sólyom (Falcon) airlines, a new Budapest based company has already leased its first few aircraft and is recruiting staff amongst jobless Malév personnel. Malév Hungarian airlines went bankrupt early last year after it was sold first to Alitalia, then to a Russian air transport company (see BudaPost February through December, 2012). The founder of Falcon is allegedly receiving one billion Euros worth of funding from unnamed investors based in the Arab Gulf, and plans to carry 3 million passengers during its first year and 8 million in 2015. Sceptics think the project is unrealistic and find it strange that the origin of the money should be kept secret.

In his Magyar Nemzet editorial, Gyula Jámbor “keeps his fingers crossed” for Sólyom’s success, for Malév’s failure had catastrophic consequences for many businesses linked to Budapest Ferenc Liszt Airport, including the big hotels of the capital. Budget airlines have largely filled the void in the tourist class, but not in the business world, he remarks. Even investors find it easier to launch new projects in a country that has its own airline. Jámbor admits that three earlier attempts to replace Malév all failed, but labels as “premature schadenfreude” the gloomy predictions of liberal bloggers about the fate of Sólyom. “They will perhaps forgive us if we keep our fingers crossed for the success of this Hungarian owned air company”, he concludes.

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