Hungary's Malev Airline Stops Flying

More sad news for Europe's airlift scene: Reuters is reporting that Hungarian flag-carrier Malev ceased operating early on Friday, ending 66 years of almost continuous service, after its planes were held overseas for unpaid debts.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban told Kossuth radio on Friday that the decision to ground Malev, which was placed under creditor protection earlier in the week, was made after two aircraft were not allowed to take off from Tel Aviv and Ireland.

In a December white paper, the government said the potential loss of the airline could jeopardise the operation of Budapest Airport. The airline accounts for 40 percent of turnover at the airport, owned by Germany's Hochtief and four financial partners.

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