Budapest Airport to incentivise airlines to fill Malev void

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Budapest Airport has launched an incentive programme to attract airlines to use the Hungarian capital as a base, following the collapse of Malev on 3 February.

"We are, of course, saddened by the collapse of Malev," said Budapest Airport chief executive Jost Lammers. "But we now move into the post-Malev era with a degree of optimism.

"We are open for business as usual and would like to thank the airlines who have already stepped in to operate some of the routes previously flown by Malev - we will continue to work with these airlines and others, with a view to offering sensible long-term solutions."

Lammers added that the airport is "particularly interested in airlines wishing to use Budapest as a base", and has "launched a special route recovery incentive programme to attract the most appropriate operators".

The airport's operator, Budapest Airport Zrt, is calling on the Hungarian government to remove restrictions which mean that certain routes can only be operated by a Hungarian carrier. This includes routes to Turkey, Israel, Russia and Ukraine.

"On flights to and from these destinations, only Malev had the right to fly. It is imperative that the Hungarian authorities move quickly to close these gaps; otherwise the road to recovery will be much slower," said the airport.