Malev shuts down, oneworld offers help

Late last week, Malev Hungarian Airlines shut down all of its services. At that time, the carrier issued a statement advising that: “According to the government regulation which entered into force on Jan. 31, 2012, assistance can be provided to those passengers who purchased their valid tickets before Malev ceased and whose travel dates are on the suspension day or on the following three calendar days. In addition, to those who already travelled to their destination on the suspension day or before and possess valid return tickets on Malev flights on a date not later than Feb. 29. Those who are entitled are going to have assistance from Malev by rerouting their tickets to other flights or other modes of transportation.” Malev has issued the following telephone numbers for customers: Hungary, 06-40-21-21-21; Overseas, +36-1-802-11-11; or visit . However, oneworld notes that two of its member carriers also serve Hungary. Both British Airways and Finnair operate to Budapest, from their London Heathrow and Helsinki hubs respectively. Passengers booked before Feb. 3 on code-share flights carrying the BA, AY (Finnair), JL (Japan Airlines) or AB (member elect airberlin) codes but which were to be operated by Malev are being offered alternative travel arrangements, or refunds in line with their regular fare rules. Passengers booked before Feb. 3 to fly on Malev codeshare flights (ie, with an MA code) operated by British Airways, Finnair or airberlin to Budapest are being offered assistance for travel on British Airways, Finnair or airberlin, subject to availability. British Airways is also offering Malev passengers stranded away from home by the airline’s suspension of services special repatriation fares. For details, see and . Most oneworld member airlines are also offering to rebook customers with a connecting sector on MalÎ