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Malév to lay off 400 staff

Hungary’s Malév will lay off 400 staff to cut costs, the airline told MTI on Monday.

The 400 staff include 150 who are on the payroll but are not actively employed, because of taking early pension or other reasons. The job cuts -- which will affect mainly pilots and cabin staff -- will affect a little more than one-fifth of the airline’s active workforce. Malév said it will also reduce its number of contracted laborers by 100.

Malév laid off 120 staff, or 6% of the total, in November 2007. Under the airline’s privatization contract, Malév’s owners may not lay off more than 30% of staff in three years. The airline also said it will lend five of its Boeing 737 aircraft in the winter, replacing them with four Bombardier Q400 turboprop aircraft, which use 30% less fuel. It is in talks with several airlines interested in renting the 737s. Malév currently has 18 Next Generation Boeing 737 aircraft in its fleet.

Malév said it will keep all of the European and Middle East destinations in its winter timetable. Malév earlier said it would scrap its long-haul flights to New York and Toronto in the winter timetable and take its two Boeing 767s out of the fleet. (MTI-Econews)