Tuesday, December 8, 2009

EU Flag Carrier Phenomenon Not Dead

With the privatization of Alitalia and Olympic Airways earlier this year, it appeared the days of the EU Member State flag carrier were coming to a close.  Not so, apparently.  According to a new report, Hungary is poised to forgo HUF 19 billion in debt of its former State carrier Malév.  See Hungary to Forgo Debts of Ailing Airline Malév . . ., Portfolio.HU, Dec. 4, 2009 (available here).  As part of the deal, Hungary could convert its claims into a majority ownership stake.  According to the report, the Hungarian Government is looking to partner with Malév's Russian parent company, AirBridge, to help the carrier return to profitability. 


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