The Hungarian government would like to connect the big Hungarian cities with domestic flights. The secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said on Friday in Székesfehérvár that they would like to make all Hungarian cities accessible by small aircraft because that is in direct correlation with investments.
Levente Magyar said that the backbone of the Hungarian economy is the network of the county capitals, and the government would like to help their development by cooperating with their leaders, Origo reported. Therefore, the secretary asked the mayors to write airport development strategies and submit them to the ministry. Károly Szita, the chairman of the Alliance of the Hungarian County Capitals, added that 2 million Hungarians live in those cities generating more than 1/3rd of the country’s GDP.
According to mfor.hu, the MALÉV Hungarian Airlines’ first plane started on October 15, 1946, from Budaörs, which is
the birthday of Hungarian civil aviation.
The Hungarian Post used planes before WWII for postal services and to transport cargo. In 1921, there were some examples when even citizens travelled on board of these planes, but the great powers prohibited that shortly afterwards since they thought that it covered military purposes. Even so, between the two world wars, Hungarian civil aviation developed, but the flights connected Budapest with foreign cities like Vienna, Salzburg, Berlin, Munich, Zürich, Rome, Milan, Venice, Krakow, and Warsaw. In 1937, Hungary opened a new international airport in Budaörs.
There were some regular domestic flights as well, connecting Budapest with Siófok, Pécs, Debrecen, Nyíregyháza, and later Kassa, Ungvár, Nagyvárad, Kolozsvár, Sepsiszentgyörgy, and Csíkszereda.
After WWII, the Soviet and the Hungarian states founded the Maszovlet, the Hungarian-Soviet Civil Air Transport Joint Stock Company, owned 50 pc by Hungary and 50 pc by the Soviet Union. The Hungarians gave the crew and the airports while the Soviet partners provided the planes, the equipment, and the trainers of the personnel.
Tickets cost as much as a train ticket those days, so many travelled by plane
between the different Hungarian cities. Furthermore, the Budapest-Győr-Zalaegerszeg-Nagykanizsa-Budapest or the Budapest-Miskolc-Nyíregyháza-Debrecen round flights were very popular. In 1954, Hungary bought the Soviet shares in the Maszovlet and founded Malév.
The company closed domestic flights one after the other in the 1960s. The last plane took off on March 15, 1969, and they concentrated on international flights since that was profitable.
In 1989, it came to light that Hungary is a “great power” with more than 30 airports available for planes, hvg said. Even though some local governments tried to use them, they quickly learned that operating an airport is very expensive. Still, there were some success stories, for example, in Győr, Debrecen, or Sármellék, but these became profitable only because of the international traffic, iho.hu wrote. That is partly because intercity trains and the motorways provide a cheaper and fast opportunity for everybody to travel today. Furthermore,
taxes are very high in the case of flying.
Taking all these into consideration, the government’s above-mentioned plan is at least ambitious.
Source: origo.hu, mfor.hu, hvg.hu, iho.hu