New Airline Alert: Solyom Airways of Hungary
As the old saying goes, when one door closes, another one opens. Ever since Malev, the national carrier of Hungary, met its fate in February of 2012, there has been a hole in aviation to fill. Fortunately for traveling Hungarians, Wizz Air and Ryanair have picked up some of the flying from the central European country, but a full-service airline is missing.
Flying out of the country's capital, Budapest, Sólyom Hungarian Airways plans to pick up where Malev left off. Thanks to the savvy sense of a few Hungarian businessmen and the deep pockets of some Middle East investors, business class (not to mention economy class) air travel can, once again, become a reality in and out of Hungary.
Hoping to take to the skies by the end of September, the start-up has already hit a snag with some licensing. Currently, Solyom is only approved to fly some gliders and ultra-light aircraft with the NKH, the Hungarian equivalent to our FAA, and has had theif application partially rejected since a commercial airline needs to use larger planes.
If all goes as planned, the airline will start out with 6 planes, eventually growing their fleet to 25 by the end of 2014 and doubling that by the end of 2017. The ultimate goal is to expand the network to the Middle East, North Africa and ex-Soviet States using narrow-body planes and 10 wide-body planes for some long-haul destinations.
[Photo: Sólyom Hungarian Airways]