Report: Moscow still eyes Hungarian-Russian airline

History

Moscow is still considering establishing a joint Hungarian-Russian airline, but it would need to be market-based, not a subsidised carrier, Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov said yesterday in Venice, news agency RIA Novosti reported, according to Hungarian news agency MTI.

“Our colleagues are examining this question on the Hungarian governmental level. We are interested in this, I can confirm that. Our baseline is that we need to find the optimal business solution where this company is commercially viable and does not require state subsidies,” Manturov said, according to the Russian news agency. 

Manturov said state subsidies “are clearly not in our interest, even though we would very much like to produce and supply our own aircraft to Eastern European markets”, MTI reported. The minister reportedly mentioned that the airline could function as a joint venture of Russian aircraft manufacturer Sukhoi and a Hungarian subsidiary.

According to MTI, the minister did not rule out creating a Hungarian company that could receive “advantageous financial conditions” when purchasing aircraft from Russia.

Hungary’s National Development Ministry (NFM) was reported in the beginning of February to be in negotiations with Russian aircraft manufacturer Sukhoi in efforts to launch a new national carrier made up of six aircraft.

Reports in February said that the Russian company could provide Hungary with six new Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft, as well as financial support, to launch a new national carrier. Hungary has been without a national carrier since Malév was grounded in 2012.

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