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Malev airline ceases operations

07 February 2012 12:22

Malev, Hungary's national airline, has ceased operations after 66 years

Malev, Hungary's national airline, has ceased operations after 66 years

Hungary's national airline Malev has ceased flying after 66 years in service, it has been announced.

The airline said its financial situation had become "unsustainable" after it accumulated debts of around 60 billion forints, the equivalent of £170 million.

It ceased operations at 5am on Monday as it was unable to secure new investment.

Passengers are urged to check their travel insurance documents to find out whether it covers them for any costs or delays caused by the airline's debts.

Two Malev planes are currently grounded in Israel and Ireland, Hungarian primer minister Viktor Urban said, adding that they were not allowed to fly back to Hungary because of the airline's financial problems.

Managing director Lorant Limburger said in a statement that Malev's partner airlines had started to demand advance payments in the past few days after they lost confidence in the company.

He added: "This accelerated the cash outflow to such an extent that by today the airline's situation has become unsustainable. We apologise to all our passengers."