Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Malév Hungarian Airlines
Malév Hungarian Airlines, a translation of the Hungarian Magyar Légiközlekedési Vállalat, is the national airline of Hungary. The accent indicates that the E is long, so the name is pronounced (approximately) Mol-ayv.
Malév's origins are somewhat convoluted. Companies like Aero Rt. (founded 1910), Magyar Æeroforgalmi Rt. (MAEFORT) and Magyar Légiforgalmi Rt. (Malert) are clearly spiritual forebears, but the devastation of World War II temporarily ended all Hungarian civil aviation and these companies along with it. Thus, the official founding date is March 29, 1946, when the Hungarian-Soviet Civil Air Transport Joint Stock Company (Magyar-Szovjet Légiforgalmi Rt. aka Maszovlet) was formed. The initial fleet consisted of 21-person Li-2 passenger aircraft (the Soviet-licensed DC-3) and 3-person Po-2 "taxis", used for precision air mail: sacks of mail were dropped from the aircraft when flying over the destination! In 1950, Malév's base of operations moved from Budaörs to the newly opened airport at Ferihegy, where it has remained ever since.
On November 25, 1956, Hungary purchased all the Soviet shares of Maszovlet and Malév was born. Operations gradually expanded, with flights extending to nearby countries and, following the 1968 purchase of jet-propelled Tupolev Tu-134s from the Soviet Union, into all of Europe and the Middle East as well. Even before the revolution of 1989 and the advent of democracy, Malév started to phase out its Soviet-era planes with the introduction of the first western aircraft, a Boeing 737-200 on November 18, 1988. The last Soviet-built Tupolev Tu-154 was withdrawn from the fleet in 2001. In 2003, Malév began to replace its Boeing 737 Classic aircraft with the new 737 Next-Generation planes. It now runs a fleet of 17 Boeings 737s but with two 767-200ER's for long-haul flights, and a few Fokker 70s and Canadair CRJ-200's for short hops.
As of December 2001, Malév flies to 43 cities in 35 countries, with 50 to 60 flights daily. All Malév flights leave Budapest Ferihegy airport out of Terminal 2A.
Malév has not joined any of the large airline alliances yet, although its partner CSA Czech Airlines pledged to help Malév gain an associate member status in SkyTeam, the only difference between a full member and an associate being voting rights or lack thereof. Frequent flyer miles for flying Malév can already be credited into programs of some SkyTeam members, namely KLM, Northwest Airlines and Alitalia. Malév also has its own frequent-flyer program entitled Duna Club, "Duna" being the Hungarian name for the Danube river.
Since 1999, the Hungarian state property agency ÁPV Rt. (Állami Privatizációs és Vagyonkezelő Rt.) has owned 99.5% of the Malév shares, with the other 0.5% in the hands of small shareholders.
<info on failed tenders to sell MA to be added later>
The Malév fleet consists of the following aircraft (at April 2005):
- 6 Boeing 737-600 NG
- 7 Boeing 737-700 NG
- 4 Boeing 737-800 NG
- 2 Boeing 767-200 ER
- 4 Canadair CRJ-200 ER
- 5 Fokker_70
- Boeing 737-200
- Boeing 737-300
- Boeing 737-400
- Boeing 737-500
- Lisunov Li-2
- Polikarpov Po-2
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