Wizz Air adds Moscow flights

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Eastern Europe, Hungary, Russia | Posted on 19-07-2013

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Wizz Air continues to push east with the announcement today that it will commence 5x weekly flights from Budapest to Moscow Vnukovo.

Flights will begin on 23 September using Airbus A320 aircraft.

The announcement follows recent new route announcements by Wizz Air from Venice and Rome to Chisinau, and its first forays into Africa with new routes to Egypt.

Budapest spotting terrace to reopen

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airport News, Airport Spotting Guide, Eastern Europe, Hungary, Spotting News | Posted on 10-06-2013

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Budapest Airport‘s spotting terrace is to be reopene following renovation work.

The terrace is atop Terminal 2A, and was closed a few years ago when work was being carried out to expand the building.

Now, work is being undertaken to install a glass frontage and netting to protect aircraft from foreign objects, ahead of it reopening in July. The terrace will be open 24 hours with an entrance fee of HUF 400 (EUR 1.35)

The terrace offers views over the airport’s two runways and aircraft using the terminal. Photographs are possible, however the new glass frontage may limit how your pictures turn out.

LOT Polish 787 flights in Europe

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Eastern Europe, Frankfurt, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Russia and CIS, Spotting News, Western Europe | Posted on 20-09-2012

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LOT 787LOT Polish Airlines has announced a series of intra-European flights on their new Boeing 787 aircraft to aid in crew familiarity.

The first aircraft is due for delivery in November, making LOT the first European airline to take on the Dreamliner.

The European flights are bookable now, and include:

Warsaw – Brussels, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 9th, 10th January 2013
Warsaw – Budapest, 11th-14th January 2013
Warsaw – Frankfurt, 3rd-6th,  9th, 10th January 2013
Warsaw – Hanover, 23rd December 2012 & 4th January 2013
Warsaw – Kiev, 17th, 20th, 27th December 2012
Warsaw – London Heathrow, 22nd, 29th, 31st December 2012, 1st-2nd January 2013.
Warsaw – Munich, 14th-16th, 18th, 19th, 28th December 2012
Warsaw – Prague, 14th-16th, 18th-20th, 28th December 2012 & 2nd, 11th-14th January 2013.
Warsaw – Vienna, 17th, 21st-24th, 27th, 29th, 30th December 2012 & 13th January

If you manage to get on one of these flights, I’d love you to send in a report!

 

Budapest moves all operations into Terminal 2

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Eastern Europe, Hungary, Spotting News | Posted on 02-06-2012

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© Raimond Spekking / CC-BY-SA-3.0 (via Wikimedia Commons)

Budapest Airport has closed its historic Terminal 1 and moved all passenger operations into the modern Terminal 2.

In recent years, Terminal 1 has been used primarily by low-cost carriers such as Wizz Air, easyJet, Ryanair and Jet2, amongst others. However, it has been straining to cope under the sheer volume of traffic.

Terminal 2 had been built as a hub for national carrier Malev, however since the airline closed down earlier this year, there has been plenty of spare capacity there.

Following the switch over after the closure of Terminal 1 at 2359 on 29 May, the following morning, between 0600 and 0700, nine aircraft of low-cost airlines and two of traditional carriers left from Terminal 2.

In the first hour of the morning peak, 1780 departing passengers were processed through Terminal 2 without any disruption.
Terminal 1, which originally opened in 1939, may be reopened in the future if demand arises.

Volotea bringing growth to Europe’s mid-size cities

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Czech Republic, Eastern Europe, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Spotting News, Western Europe | Posted on 22-04-2012

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(c) Volotea Airlines

Volotea Airlines seems to have sprung up from nowhere, in no time at all. But if its ambitious growth plans are realised, it will quickly become one of Europe’s main low-cost airlines.

Flying a fleet of seven Boeing 717 aircraft, sourced second-hand from the manufacturer, Volotea is positioning itself to serve small- and mid-sized cities across Europe initially from bases in Venice Marco Polo (Italy), Nantes (France), and Ibiza (Spain).

The airline is run by former founding members of Vueling Airlines, and has its corporate headquarters in Barcelona.

Volotea’s first flight took off on 5th April from Venice, bound for Palermo – one of the 76 routes announced by the airline, and one of a number of domestic routes within Italy – set to challenge the dominance of Alitalia and Ryanair in this much sought-after market.

In fact, Venice Marco Polo will clearly be the bigger base initially, with 24 routes planned.

The airline will not initially venture as far north as the UK, Ireland or Scandinavia, choosing to focus on Italy, Spain, France, Greece, Portugal, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary and Poland.

The choice of Boeing 717 is interesting for a low-cost airline, but is likely due to the cheap prices of sourcing them, and the regard with which they’ve been held in Spain over the past ten years. Nevertheless, for the enthusiast, this offers another chance to fly on the relatively rare type in Boeing’s stable (Blue1 is currently the only other European operator of the type).

All going well, the airline is likely to expand into other territories fairly soon, but I also suspect some routes will be non-starters, and others will see frequency changes. For a full list of planned routes, see Volotea’s homepage http://www.volotea.com/en/destinations/

The fight for Budapest

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Eastern Europe, Hungary | Posted on 06-02-2012

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The dust has not yet settled on the sudden demise of Hungarian national carrier Malev on Friday, yet airliners are already swooping in to mop up the passenger base and available slots at the airport.

Over the weekend, Ryanair announced it would be opening a base at Budapest with four based Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The airline will operate routes to 31 destinations from the airport, starting 17th February 2012.

Now, Wizz Air has announced it is to base an additional two Airbus A320 aircraft at Budapest to boost its schedules. It will operate flights to 21 destinations, increasing weekly frequencies from 67 to 129 flights.

This will strengthen the presence of both airlines at the airport, and make it very difficult for any new or restarted national airline in Hungary to gain a foothold in the future. It also seriously diminishes the full service options for passengers.

Malev ceases flying

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Eastern Europe, Hungary | Posted on 03-02-2012

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Sadly the news has come through today that Malev Hungarian Airlines has ceased flying today, following a number of days of uncertainty about the carrier’s future in light of it’s deepening financial crisis.

The airline had been placed under bankruptcy protection, but as of 6am this morning all flying had ceased. Hungary’s government had previously sought funding to help keep the national carrier going, but amid intense competition from the likes of Ryanair and Wizz Air, the market has become very hard to operate in.

Malev was founded in 1946. As of yesterday it operated a fleet of mixed Boeing 737NG models, and DHC-8 Q400′s. It had 15 Sukhoi Superjets on order.

Whether the airline will remain grounded is not known yet, but it’s definitely a sad state of affairs. Budapest Airport may see its fortunes change drastically, or see the low cost airlines move into the impressive new terminal previously used by Malev.

 

IL-14 returns to Malev colours

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Hungary, Miscellaneous Spotting | Posted on 20-07-2010

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Those of you passing through Budapest Ferihegy airport any time soon should see a sight that hasn’t been seen for a while – an Ilyushin IL-14 aircraft in Malev colours.

The aircraft – HA-MAL – is part of the smart little museum collection of Russian types outside the main terminal at the airport.

For many years the aircraft has been in the colours of Hungarian Air Force and registered 04 RED. But now, as you can see from the colours, it has been restored to the 1950s colour scheme of Malev, who used to fly the type.

The team would be happy to accept donations for continuing restoration of the aircraft. Details to follow soon…

Budapest Airport Museum

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airport Spotting Guide, Eastern Europe, Hungary | Posted on 28-05-2008

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Budapest Airport has an excellent little museum outside Terminal 2. It houses a collection of former Malev and Soviet airliners.

It costs 800 HUF for admission to the museum.

Inmates include:
HA-MOA Ilyushin IL-18, Malev
HA-MOG Ilyushin IL-18, Malev
HA-LCG Tupolev TU-154, Malev
HA-LBE Tupolev TU-134, Malev
HA-LIQ Lisunov LI-2T, Malev
04-RED Ilyushin IL-14, Soviet Air Force
HA-MHI Antononv AN-2M
HA-BCB Mil MI-2

All aircraft can be seen and logged from the approach road to Terminal 2 without actually entering the museum.