The Hungarian-based airline Malev said it plans to increase its market share in Romania by attracting passengers currently flying with Tarom or Austrian Airlines.
The Hungarian carrier said its market share in Romania on Romania-Budapest route (five destinations – Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Targu-Mures, Timisoara and Iasi) was 84% at the end of November 2009. “Tarom is not a strong airline like other national carriers, which is why we are very confident in our plans to attract their customers. Furthermore, the flight schedule of Tarom to Budapest is neither to the business or leisure traffic advantage”, said Karim Makhlouf, commercial director of the Hungarian airline.

The company plans to turn the Budapest airport into one of the most important transit points for Romanian passengers. “Around 45% of passengers going to Budapest, change planes, and over 50% of the Romanian passengers arriving to Budapest leave to another destination. This share may be improved by attracting Romanian passengers using Vienna airport as a transit point, by flying with Austrian Airlines”, Malev representative pointed out.

Iasi and Timisoara removed from the winter flight schedule

In light of a sluggish demand caused by the economic crisis, the Hungarian-based airline has pulled out operations from less profitable markets. “We have eliminated destinations such as Geneva or Dublin, as the demand fell short of our expectations. We have also removed Iasi and Timisoara destinations from the winter flight schedule, but should the economy bounce back, these flights will no longer be operated on a seasonal basis”, Makhouf added.

Romania is the third most important market for Malev, after Hungary and Germany, and accounts for 8% of total number of passengers carried by the airline.

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Roxana Grosu
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