Malev Hungarian Airlines expects to become profitable in two years and is looking to increase its Russian network under the new ownership of AirBridge.

At a recent event in Budapest to mark Malev's accession to the oneworld alliance, chief executive Janos Gonci said the sale of the airline to Russian consortium AirBridge, teamed with its new alliance membership, would help boost revenues and enable Malev to post a profit in two years' time.

New Malev chairman Boris Abramovich says the carrier "needs new markets" to enable it to cope with the competitive nature of the European airline market. He adds synergies will be created between the Russian five-member AirUnion alliance and Malev's network.

"We don't like to hurry and will go step-by-step to build a system that satisfies the oneworld alliance," he says.

Malev will increase frequencies between Budapest and Moscow, and is looking at introducing services to Samara in Russia. Gonci says the airline plans to increase its long-haul network, but adds that it is "too early" to talk about future fleet expansion plans.

Gonci will continue in his role as chief executive under the new ownership structure, but Abramovich plans to make unspecified management changes after carrying out a detailed evaluation of the carrier.

Source: Airline Business