Ex-spook behind the new Hungarian airline

According to the Hungarian daily Magyar Nemzet, Sólyom, the new national airline starts its operation soon. The unexpected announcement raised so many questions that atlatszo.hu suspects a very exciting plot behind the scenes. Magyar Nemzet reported Middle Eastern businessmen as investors, but a prompt investigation reveals the ex-director of National Transport Authority (NTA) behind Sólyom Airlines. SÓLYOM Befektetési és Vagyonkezelési Holding Kft. (Sólyom Investment and Asset Management Holding Ltd.) took over Sólyom Hungarian Airways Ltd. and registered nine new companies with Sólyom Air as prefix.

The owners of the holding are: Róbert András Hurtyák, János Lucsik and József Vágó. The trio registered not only this holding this year, but FÉSZEK – Első Magyar Letelepedési Tanácsadó és Szolgáltató Kft. (NEST – The First Hungarian Establishment Consulting Ltd.). Mr. Hurtyák is the CEO and owner of Time Square Holding Ltd, a company that produces traditional Halal slaughtered Hungarian lambs for muslim countries. Mr. Lucsik is procurement expert and the exclusive distributor of famous Armenian brandy, the Ararat. Also, he is the CEO of most Sólyom Air companies.

The top dog, however, is Mr. Vágó, currently the CEO of SÓLYOM Befektetési és Vagyonkezelési Holding Kft. As an officer of the National Security Agency, he was responsible for the security of the International Airport of Ferihegy since the early 1990s. In 2007 he was appointed to the director of NTA, but eventually, he was removed in 2010 after an incident with Israeli military aircrafts.

Sólyom Airlines will take off with six airplanes; and by 2017 it will have a fleet of 50. Also, the owners want to position the company in premium market, making Turkish Airlines and Emirates Airlines the main competitors to the new venture.

This article was published in Hungarian here on 10 June 2013. The text was translated by Tamás Papp.