Airlines are jumping in to fill the gap in Budapest left by Malev’s shutdown last week.
Wizz Air announced that it will invest $100 million on growing its operation in Budapest this year. They expect a 40% capacity increase, focusing mostly on cities it currently serves, though it will also launch a new Budapest-Bucharest route, which will mean nothing to most Americans since they assume those are actually the same city.
Ryanair will launch 31 new routes from Budapest – with some starting in just 2 weeks, which they say will replace most routes served by Malev. The lowfare airline will base 4 aircraft in the Hungarian city.
Aegean will launch service from Athens 4 days a week beginning in March.
Blue1 will launch summer service from Helsinki.
Tarom will go from 5 to 12 services weekly from Bucharest (which, again, is different than Budapest)
SmartWings will launch 4 new cities from Budapest (Paris, Barcelona, Athens and Larnaca)
This is the fastest I can remember service being replaced after an airline has gone out of business. It suggests that passenger demand is there — Malev’s government-backed leadership team just had no idea how to make it work.