Airlines Look to Fill Hole Left by Malev’s Departure from Budapest

Airlines are jumping in to fill the gap in Budapest left by Malev’s shutdown last week.

Wizz Air announced that it will invest $100 million on growing its operation in Budapest this year. They expect a 40% capacity increase, focusing mostly on cities it currently serves, though it will also launch a new Budapest-Bucharest route, which will mean nothing to most Americans since they assume those are actually the same city.

Ryanair will launch 31 new routes from Budapest – with some starting in just 2 weeks, which they say will replace most routes served by Malev. The lowfare airline will base 4 aircraft in the Hungarian city.

Aegean will launch service from Athens 4 days a week beginning in March.

Blue1 will launch summer service from Helsinki.

Tarom will go from 5 to 12 services weekly from Bucharest (which, again, is different than Budapest)

SmartWings will launch 4 new cities from Budapest (Paris, Barcelona, Athens and Larnaca)

This is the fastest I can remember service being replaced after an airline has gone out of business. It suggests that passenger demand is there — Malev’s government-backed leadership team just had no idea how to make it work.

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