For the first time in the history of Malév, the airline recorded three million passengers travelling on its scheduled services in the course of one year. Malév, on the threshold of membership of the oneworld alliance, estimates annual growth of more than 9% in passenger traffic for this year.
To mark the record achievement, Malév actually welcomed its 2,999,999th, 3,000,000th and 3,000,001st passengers. The airline’s CEO, Dr. János Gönci, presented the winning passengers at Budapest Airport with cards entitling them to special travel concessions across the Malév network.
The three lucky “millionth” passengers received a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity from the airline. Each of the three winners receives annually one free air ticket valid for scheduled flights operated by Malév. In addition, each year they may purchase an unlimited number of air tickets with 90% discount off the base fare on scheduled, economy class flights operated by Malév. The annual unlimited number of discounted air tickets are valid for not only the winning passengers but also their immediate relatives: spouse, children under the age of 21 years, and children aged between 21 and 24 registered as full-time students until completion of studies.
The airline began registering positive traffic data in the first half of 2006. Malév welcomed its one millionth passenger at the end of May, and its two millionth passenger on 31 August. Both events occurred about a month earlier than in the previous year.
During the first 11 months of 2006, Malév scheduled traffic expanded by more than 9% in comparison with the identical period in 2005. The airline also registered an increase of 13% in revenue in the period January-November. Most of its customers fly to destinations in West Europe, although the most dynamic growth was seen in the turnover of Central and East European flights. In addition, there was considerable demand for Malév’s North American services; these flights operated with an average load factor of 79% across the first 11 months of the year.
Malév’s network provides excellent connections between cities in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Western Europe and North America. Amsterdam, London and Bucharest are the top three most popular destinations of the carrier. As a consequence of its increased flight frequency to Bucharest (daily four flights), for instance, the airline carried 43% more passengers to the capital of Romania in the first 11 months of the year than in the same period of 2005.
Commercial and code-share agreements signed with oneworld member airlines mean that Malév is already enjoying the benefits provided by the alliance’s scheduled network, and its passengers can purchase competitively priced air tickets for numerous oneworld routes with just one transfer. Moreover, Malév frequent flyers can now take advantage of the benefits offered by Duna Club on the flights of, for example, British Airways, Iberia, Royal Jordanian and Finnair.