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Dublin: 17 °C Wednesday 24 July, 2019
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Less than seven hours after Malev collapse, Ryanair announces new Budapest base

The Irish airline is to base four new aircraft in Budapest within a fortnight, and will open 31 routes to replace Malev’s loss.

Image: Virginia Mayo/AP

RYANAIR HAS CAPITALISED on the collapse of Hungarian flag-carrier airline Malev by announcing the creation of a new base in Budapest – less than seven hours after its Hungarian rival ceased trading.

The airline has this lunchtime announced what it calls “a rescue plan for Budapest and Hungarian tourism” by opening 31 new routes to and from Budapest – some of them beginning within two weeks.

Ryanair says it can deliver up to two million passengers to the Hungarian capital each year, and replace most of the traffic and routes lost by Malev’s grounding.

Its deputy chief executive, Michael Cawley, has travelled to Budapest to finalise negotiations with airport and governmental authorities, and the airline says it will hold an open recruitment day in Budapest next week to invite job applications from Malev’s cabin crew, pilots and engineers.

The airline will base four planes in the city full-time, and claims that its passenger numbers will help to support 2,000 jobs.

17 of its 31 new routes to Budapest – including a direct route to Dublin – will begin operation on February 17, each of them with fares beginning from €9.99. The airline will begin selling tickets for those routes later this afternoon.

Ryanair said it had the capacity to respond to Malev’s grounding after grounding up to a third of its fleet over winter in order to minimise its fuel consumption costs.

The new base will put Ryanair in direct competition with Aer Lingus, which was the only airline other than Malev to offer a direct route to Budapest.

Read: Dublin passengers left to fend for themselves after Hungarian airline collapses

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Gavan Reilly

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