oneworld has signed a memorandum of understanding with Malév as the first step towards the Hungarian carrier joining the world’s leading quality global airline alliance. The memorandum of understanding provides a framework for continued discussions, aimed at issuing Malév with an invitation to join the alliance as a full member.
The agreement is subject to Malév meeting a number of requirements, including:
* Confirmation that it can comply with the full service delivery specifications of the alliance.
* Full quality and safety audits.
* Delivery of its new business plan.
When these requirements are met, Malév could be expected to join the alliance in 2006. oneworld Managing Partner John McCulloch said: “oneworld’s focus during the past few years has been on helping our member airlines weather the financial turbulence that has rocked this industry, by building revenues and cutting costs. The results of this strategy are reflected in oneworld being the only alliance whose members are collectively profitable.
“Now our member airlines are at the stage where they feel it is sensible for the alliance to recruit in regions where would like to broaden our network. We are delighted that Malév is lining up to fill that role for oneworld in Central and Eastern Europe and look forward to working with its management team towards an invitation for it to join our alliance as soon as possible.”
Malév Chief Executive Janos Gönci said: “It is vital for Malév to join a global alliance. In the current state of the airline industry there is no chance of sustainableÊearnings for a mid-sized network carrier without partners. oneworld membership will immensely broaden the network of Malév and further improve the scope of services and benefits available to all our customers. At the same time we believe we can provide our oneworld partners with significant value through the addition of our strong central and south-east European presence to their global network”
Hungary’s Minister of Economy and Transport János Kóka said: “Malév’s oneworld membership will definitely boost the number of passengers and improve the competitive position of our national flag carrier, and provide a substantial contribution to the improvement of its financial results. The proposed membership will also enhance the Central European hub role of Budapest Ferihegy International Airport.”
Three existing oneworld partners currently serve Malév’s Budapest base - Aer Lingus, British Airways and Finnair. Malév itself operates to established oneworld hubs Helsinki, London Heathrow, Madrid, New York, Dublin and Cork.
Malév already has a code-sharing agreement with oneworld partner Finnair. In parallel with its oneworld discussions, Malév will be discussing additional bilateral co-operation with various members of the alliance. oneworld, its existing partners and Malév will not be providing any further information or updates on these discussions until they are concluded.