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Malev reports passenger increase

Malév Hungarian Airlines is reporting an increase in passenger traffic by 7.2 % for the second half pf 2005 with the load factor rising by 0.5 % against 2004.
This rise in passenger traffic caused Malév’s market share across the entire network to rise two percentage points to 42 % in the third quarter against the figure for the preceding quarter. Traffic jumped 22 % in the first two weeks of December, improving the load factor by 7.2%.

The second half of 2005 saw Malév’s scheduled passenger traffic recording double-figure growth every month, reaching its highest point in November where the increase in passengers carried was 21.8 % compared to the same month in the previous year. Malev expects the privatisation of Budapest Airport and ongoing developments will increase these figures further.

Major savings were achieved in 2005, despite rising kerosene prices which resulted in the airline spending HUF 6.2 billion more on fuel than in 2004.  Efficient rotation of the fleet resulted in savings of HUF 20 million (approximately EUR 81,000) a week.  In 2006 it is expected that restructuring will further reduce costs by several hundred million forints.  Although redundancies amounted to 400 of the total workforce of 3,200 and required a one-off payout of HUF 1-1.5 billion, it is anticipated that this expenditure will be recouped within the next 6 to 8 months.
Preparations for Malev’s Oneworld alliance membership are on target with Malév already having a code share agreement with Finnair, and similar contracts currently being drawn up with American Airlines and Spanish carrier Iberia. In 2006 the airline will synchronise their frequent flyer programme with these partner airlines.

Malév intends to exchange one of its two Boeing 767s flying the transatlantic route for a larger capacity B-767 300.  At the same time the sale of the four CRJ 200 Bombardier aircraft conducting regional services is still on the agenda.