On Friday, Malev ceased operation. Late that night and into Saturday morning, fourteen Boeing 737 aircraft, leased from the International Lease Finance Corporation, were flown to Shannon, Ireland. Malev operated eighteen 737s, seventeen of which were leased from ILFC.
The first of the aircraft to leave Budapest flew a solemn lap around the airport and a fly-past over the runway. The operation attracted more than 300 listeners to the Shannon air traffic control feed on LiveATC.net, making it the most listened to live feed in the world at the time. Almost 200 people listened to the Budapest feed as the aircraft departed.
It is not known how long the planes will remain in Shannon, but they are expected to be repainted and leased to another airline.
Accompanying the 737s was a DeHavilland Dash-8 turboprop, which flew the crews back to Budapest.
It is always a sad day in aviation when a long-standing airline fails. At least there was this final moment of remembrance, as Malev departed Budapest for the last time.
- RIP Malev and Spanair (flightwisdom.com)
- Hungarian carrier Malév parks its airplanes (aviationblog.dallasnews.com)
- R.I.P. Malev – by Szafi (airlineworld.wordpress.com)
- R.I.P. Malév – by balint01 (airlineworld.wordpress.com)
- Ryanair moves into Budapest following Malev demise (abtn.co.uk)
- Malev Grounds All Flights, Ending 66 Years as Hungary’s Flag Carrier (nycaviation.com)