Editorial: An Idea With Wings to Fly?

Analysis

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The theme of our Special Report in this issue is that relative rarity, the Magyar Multinational. If the government gets its way, they won’t be so out of the ordinary in the future.

The rationale is that if foreign multinationals based here ship their profits home, then Hungarian companies ought to do exactly the same from beyond the borders.

Relatively late in the day, on deadline eve, in fact, we stumbled upon a story that may yet have legs, not to mention wings. You will have had to have been here for some time to remember Hungary’s official national carrier because Malév Hungarian Airlines, for that was its name, went bust early in 2012. Malév was, at times, a multinational. It was also privatized and renationalized. At one point, it was 99% owned by AirBridge Zrt., which had links to Russian money, and the Abramovich brothers Alexander and Boris (nothing to do with the former owner of Chelsea FC in the United Kingdom). Undoubtedly, many working for multinationals in Hungary would have flown with Malév. I certainly did when I first came here. It seems there are plans to bring the brand, and possibly the airline, back.

For now, it’s all pretty low-key. We found out almost by accident, researching a completely different story. There seems to have been little or no coverage in the Hungarian media, though I stand to be corrected on that; what we can say about the story we have laid out on page 13. We are planning on doing much more. But before any Malév superfans out there get too carried away, I would remind you of the fate of Sólyom Hungarian Airways, which didn’t so much crash on takeoff as fail to taxi down the runway. If establishing a business is hard, making that business an airline just adds to the layers of complexity. Will it fly? Time will tell.

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This is our last print issue before we take our annual August break. If you are a relatively new reader of the Budapest Business Journal, please don’t be alarmed. We have done this every year since we launched in 1992. Our first fall issue on September 8, with a Special Report dedicated to Green Business, is already in the planning stages, and our publication schedule is mapped out all the way to December 15 and our Christmas and New Year break.

But if you aren’t embarking on whatever the modern equivalent of the Grand Tour is this August, we will still have plenty of reading material to offer you. Our website, budapestbusinessjournal.com, will continue to be updated daily, and our Hungary A.M., Energy Today and Regional Today newsletters will go out early each working day morning.

However and wherever you choose to spend your summer holidays, we hope you get a chance to rest and relax and recharge your batteries, ready for the mad dash toward Christmas and those end-of-year budgetary planning meetings! And perhaps we will all have a chance to reconnect at one of our BBJ Business Mixers. Until then, have a great time.

Robin Marshall

Editor-in-chief

This editorial was first published in the Budapest Business Journal print issue of July 28, 2023.

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