A new Hungarian airline will be born – a Hungarian Hawk. Sólyom (Hawk) Airways will soon take off, the carrier’s chief executive officer, József Vágó has told a press conference on Wednesday. The minority owner of the carrier will be an Oman-based tourism company and a Dubai-based financial investor will ensure further funding.

New Hungarian airline to take off
Hungary’s national carrier Malév was permanently grounded in 2012, delivering a shock to the country’s air traffic that it was unable to recover from since, Sólyom Hungarian Airways said in a statement. The current management of Sólyom had started work already back then and it is thanks to their efforts over the past 18 months that will allow Sólyom to start operating soon.

Far Eastern investors behind the company
Vágó said that during preparations they negotiated with several investors before signing a financing and an ownership agreement. For the launch a deal was inked with two strategic investors, a tourism company registered in Oman as minority owner and for further funding a Dubai-based financial investor whose identity has not been revealed. Vágó said the new carrier does not want to compete with low-fare/low-cost airlines. “We have been granted the appropriate financing background from our investors, a guarantee for the sum that is necessary for launch. There is a need for such an airline that offers premium services for passengers,” he added.

!First aircraft to land on 18 AugustA deal with a leasing company has already been signed for six aircraft and the first Boeing 737-500 aircraft will be delivered on 18 August. That is when the airline will start its operation. Sólyom Hungarian Airways has been given its aircraft registration mark (HA-SHA) for its first bird from the air traffic authority today.

The airline’s schedule is not public yet but it will be when Sólyom goes airborne. Having scheduled flights depends on several factors but management hope it could start already in September. They expect to fly to 31 countries by the end of this year, to 51 by 2014 and to 55 countries with 96 destinations by 2017. Although the destinations are not yet known, Vágó believes the problem will be not how these flights fill be filled by passengers but whether they will be able to bring in enough aircraft to meet the demand. He said the most important thing is that they have the capital and will be able to see through the business plan they have envisaged.

Sólyom will put emphasis on profitable long haul flights and transit traffic. Discount carriers generate only point-to-point traffic, the CEO noted, adding that there is no one on the Hungarian market who would utilize the competitive edge a network model provides.

No state ownership
Sólyom Hungarian Airways is entirely in private ownership, the state has no holding in it. The owners have also undertaken not to take out dividend from the carrier and every forint gained will be ploughed back into operation.

Source and read more: Portfolio.hu