Hungarian airline to sack over 2,000 employees

BUDAPEST -- Hungary's bankrupt state-run air carrier Malev will lay off 2,060 of the total of 2,600 people it has on its payroll, it has been announced.

(Beta/AP)
(Beta/AP)

A spokesperson for the company said that more than half of those about to lose their jobs are working for Malev SA, while others are employed in its branches.

Having run out of funds, the air carrier shut down its business last week after 66 years.

However, the company's bankruptcy has not yet been officially announced.

The Hungarian authorities are looking for a way to resuscitate Malev, since declaring its bankruptcy would mean they would have to pay EUR 3.4 billion to the owner of the Budapest airport, Germany's BTP Hochtief.

The figure represents Malev's debt to the airport, which earned about 40 percent of its income from the carrier - its chief client.

So far, the Hungarian government's efforts have been unsuccessful, a representative of Prime Minister Viktor Orban's Fidesz party has been quoted as saying.