Aeroexpress Regional is the new brand of a Hungarian airline with a three-decade history that has been providing public services in Finland for many years. The company’s co-owner, Dániel Somogyi-Tóth, told Világgazdaság, a Hungarian economic website, that they are in talks with the state on how to build Hungarian regional aviation based on European examples.
The Aeroexpress Regional airline’s Transylvanian flights will definitely be operating in the next two months until the end of October, co-owner Dániel Somogyi-Tóth, told Világgazdaság. What will happen after that will depend largely on the market and public feedback, which will determine whether the airline will further develop its domestic capacity.
Aeroexpress Regional is backed by Aeroexpress Légiforgalmi Zrt., which was founded by BASe Airlines Zrt. The latter is also a wholly Hungarian interest, founded in 1991. Its central base is Budapest Liszt Ferenc International Airport. The Aeroexpress group was founded by Dániel Somogyi-Tóth, who is the director of the Aeropark Aviation Museum at Liszt Ferenc International Airport, and also a conductor and organist, and for ten years has been the chief music director of the city of Debrecen in the eastern part of Hungary.
The company is launching in Hungary on September 5, with Debrecen International Airport as a close partner.
Flights will be operated on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays on the Budapest-Cluj-Debrecen-Târgu Mureș-Debrecen-Cluj-Budapest route, and sales have already started, with ticket prices ranging from €30 to €90 each way.
Of particular interest is that the Budapest-Cluj route can be completed within one working day, which is good news for business travelers, but may also appeal to day-trippers.
The popularity of this route is also demonstrated by the fact that from mid-October, the Romanian regional start-up airline Air Connect will also be operating this route, as well as connecting Budapest to Bucharest twice a week.
Aeroexpress Regional will be operating Brazilian-built Embraer 120 ER turboprop passenger aircrafts with 30 seats, specially designed to operate short-haul regional flights efficiently and economically.
Although Hungarian regional aviation has a long history, ever since the bankruptcy of Malév, a former Hungarian airline more than ten years ago, this segment has remained empty, which has not helped the aviation market.
The emergence of Aeroexpress could make a big difference to the Hungarian market, but this will require a stable number of passengers on the routes that have just been suddenly launched.
Somogyi-Tóth said that the test period will prove whether they can import BASe Airlines’ product, which in Finland means three flights a day, to Hungary. This will also require state support, which Airportal.hu, a Hungarian aviation website, believes is a possibility, as Aeroexpress Regional’s plans are supported not only by Debrecen Airport, but also by the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
According to the founder of the company:
the underdeveloped road and rail network in the Hungarian regions beyond the border makes it worthwhile to maintain a more serious flight system at the regional level, the center of which could be the growing city of Debrecen, which lies in the geographical center of the Carpathian Basin.
Somogyi-Tóth also said that there was originally a plan to start from Ungvár (Uzhhorod, Ukraine), as Transcarpathia has very poor land connections, but this was canceled due to the war. However, they did not give up on connecting Ungvár with Budapest, Debrecen, or even Vienna.
He added that he sees no potential for domestic flights, as the motorway infrastructure is sufficiently developed and rail links are constantly improving. The company’s co-owner believes that regional aviation can gain momentum where there are no motorway links or fixed routes.
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