Putin is wooing Hungary with “free” Superjet 100 planes

Russia has recently offered Hungary six brand new Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft, as well as support to launch a new national carrier. They began negotiations last October and Evgeny Andrachnikov, an official of Sukhoi told the media that a Hungarian national carrier would provide a great opportunity for the Superjet 100 to show its worth.  He added that the two countries would be reliable partners, bearing the successes as well as the risks of launching a national carrier.

State secretary László Tasó initially said that his government supports any project that is in the interest of Hungary. Later the government backpedaled. Now they say that the talks are in preliminary phase: “The ministry is willing to examine opportunities for cooperation, but nothing definite has been discussed yet and the parties agreed that Sukhoi would present a more detailed offer first.”

National or “flag carrier” airlines are important in Europe where countries initially established state-owned airlines to cover the high capital costs, and “flag carrier” planes are the source of national pride. Germany has Lufthansa, France has Air France and Hungary has had no national airline since 2012.

Vladimir Putin offers the Superjet 100 to Hungary.  (Photo from Interjet Airlines of Mexico)

Vladimir Putin offers the Superjet 100 to Hungary. (Photo from Interjet Airlines of Mexico)

Now history repeats itself in a strange way.

In 1946 the Soviet Union and the Hungarian government formed a joint venture to create a new airline called MASZOVLET (Magyar–Szovjet Polgári Légiforgalmi Részvénytársaság). Hungary accepted the generous Russian offer; the Soviets provided the planes, manpower and know-how.

MASZOVLET started operations on March 29, 1946 with two planes: a 21 seat Lisunov Li2 and 3-seat Polikarpov PO2 used for mail dropping. First the airline established domestic links connecting cities of Hungary; in 1947 it introduced its first international service to Prague. In 1954, MASZOVLET ceased to exist and MALÉV (Magyar Légiközlekedési Vállalat) was formed. Shares held by the Soviets were sold to the Hungarian government. MALÉV was reorganized in 1956 as the national carrier, but decades later run into financial difficulties and finally went bankrupt in 2012.

Soviet Li 2 plane flown by MALÉV in the 1950s.

Soviet Li 2 plane flown by MALÉV in the 1950s.

Moscow’s plans are clear. They want to re-establish Russia’s sphere of influence in Eastern Europe with loans, energy and infrastructure projects, and the strategy is working. Mr. Orbán is ready to negotiate a deal in order to re-establish Hungary’s national airline using Russian technology.

It is no secret that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is steering Hungary toward Russia. “He is the only Putinist governing in the European Union,” said Joschka Fischer, the former German foreign minister. Orbán considers Putin’s Russia a great model. He thinks that EU sanctions against Russia are an unnecessary overreaction. Mr. Orbán already signed a mega-deal with Putin to expand Hungary’s Paks nuclear power plant, a project to be financed with Russian credit worth 10 billion Euros (almost 14 billion dollars).

It is ironic that this year Hungary will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the 1956 Hungarian uprising against the Soviet Union. Thousands died in the struggle to free the country from Moscow’s grip.

In 1946, after accepting Soviet technical help the Hungarian airline had no choice but to rely on the Soviet Union and use often inferior Russian aviation technology for almost half a century. There is no such thing as a free lunch and Hungary may pay later dearly if accepts Russia’s current plane offer.

Isn’t it eerie how history repeats itself?

György Lázár



  1. Avatar Pierre Divenyi says:

    Yes, and details of this deal have, of course, not been made public. Just as those of the second Paks nuclear reactor are kept secret.

  2. “Now history repeats itself in a strange way.”

    No, it’s the power elite who uses the same tools and applies the same tricks for ages.

    Meanwhile, it’s obviously about business, a big one, and inevitably about policy and dependency. But it’s also a dilemma. If the EU led by these gangsters will continue decomposing, one should contemplate which way to go.

    As of the business part, it hopefully can be brought under control with full disclosure and will not be a secret dirty one. Is any hope for that?

  3. Avatar Charlie London says:

    The EU may well have something to say about the ‘National Carrier’ receiving unfair aid if it goes ahead.

    And Hungary will further isolate itself from the EU, the USA and NATO.

    Just as Horthy got in to bed with Hitler – Orban’s got into bed with Putin.

    When complete isolation comes for Orban and Hungary we will be justified in using the good ol’ Yorkshire saying :

    Thars made bed – now must lie ont!

  4. In Hungary there are almost no professional news reporters left at the newspapers, magazines. When one person writes an article, all other papers share it without checking the data and/or correctness of the articles. Editors don’t do any checking either.
    When the article came out on Index, about of this idiocy about a national airline (to add to the “nationals”, like national tobacco stores and national toilets and soon to be national liquor stores) the writer stated, among other things, that 368 planes were sold.
    It takes only 5 seconds to go to Wikipedia, which has a complete history of the plane from inception to date and its service record.
    Well, it is very, very bad news.
    From 368 orders, from 2005, most of them were cancelled or the airlines ordering them went bankrupt since. There were 77 planes sold and only 71 is in service now, most of them are with the unhappy Aeroflot.
    Armavia Airline returned the two planes they received in 2012 within 4 month, they had such bad service record. The airline went bankrupt later.
    Aeroflot Chief Engineer Constantin Mohnit revealed in March 2012, that Aeroflot is asking compensation from Sukhoi, because the Superjet 100 planes they received operate only an average 3.9 hours without breakdown and repairs. Their worst planes up until then had an average 8-9 hours of trouble free service life.
    (Just think a Superjet 100 flying from Moscow to Bern, Rome, Athens, Milan, Geneva, Damascus, Tehran, Paris, London, etc, would break down while flying, these cities, which are 4 hours away, not to mention those cities, which are more than 4 hours flight away, more than 2,500 km distance)
    Planes on international overseas routes often fly 14-16 hours non-stop and 99.999% times trouble free to and from with just changing passengers, fuel and food. And they do it daily.
    The Superjet 100 had troubles from the beginning, the certification of the engines were three years late, a joint development of Russia’s Saturn and France’s SNECMA. The certification of the plane itself was also more than 2 years late. Since the start of deliveries in 2012 (4 years late) most of the orders were cancelled.
    International buyers will not consider the plane safe and economical to operate, despite the fact that the interior and many major parts are from various Western European manufacturer’s.
    All of this information and much more is available on the Internet, but most of the Hungarian journalists are lazy, careless unprofessional hacks and many papers, webpages publish the same article without ever checking it’s merit and correctness.

    • gybognarjr,

      What you wrote about the newspapers and magazines in Hungary is absolutely true.
      Interestingly enough there was an online site 444 that had a free comment board where, although there were many vulgar and stupid useless and abusive comments, there was a pack of quite qualified commenters who unmasked the lies in seconds, were very informative and invited and impressed many readers. The “pro” pieces of 444 otherwise are useless. As a result/self defence, even 444 applied censorship — pre-moderation (white list/black list) — disqualifying them their best commenters only leaving the trash heap. So, you are absolutely correct about their “professionalism” as they only seem to be professional applying censorship but the informative value and credibility of their work is exactly as you said. Not just 444 but that applies to all the Hungarian press and media of course.

      As of Wikipedia, although it’s very informative I don’t really trust them. I don’t know who all write it and comparing one with the same article in other languages of the same Wikipedia, I often find great differences.

    • In the meantime I have found a comment on a Hungarian discussion board that seconds what you said about the Hungarian press and paints a real picture of it.

      The original message:

      “Nem olvasó írók írnak nem olvasó olvasóknak”

  5. Great reporting job Bognar!

  6. No wonder Orban is seeking such deal, he knows well how huge the bribes are in buying airplanes – he bought the Gripens with the “help”from the Austrian count.

    Since it worked easily, why not a rerun.
    (Just give the suckers something “national” and have a second screen off them)

  7. Sorry,

    second SKIN off them

  8. @Richard “If the EU led by these gangsters …”

    Since when Orban is leading in the EU ? Unless you mean he’s leading in the “decomposing” activities.

    • Yes, he does. Not leading the EU but does the “decomposing” actually the damaging job, but he’s not the only one. Otherwise you can you explain why the EU is putting up with him and his destructive job when removing him would not be more difficult for them than kicking out a lousy cat from the house?

      Is Merkel better? Or the Greeks, Tsipras, NATO’s pet Erdogan, or Hollande (for how long can the french government survive)? They are putting up with him because they are all the same gangsters and although Orban is populist and has a big mouth he does the same as the others. Destroying the EU, creating stir, confusion and dictatorship i.e. police state. Are the others doing differently?


      No, only their brainwashing propaganda is different.

      Now, what do you think about it?

  9. Avatar Василий says:

    Can 6 – 10 planes take into submission or heavily influence a national economy, and especially the country’s policy? The answer is obvious – no, even though some things can change. But Hungarian authorities seem to want to develop a national airline.

  10. USSR created in Hungary the national carrier, and the EU bankrupted it. I correctly understood the author?

  11. @Richard

    Don’t forget your pill, I see you are getting nervous again.

    Can’t compare Germany or France to Orbanistan, not even Italy of today (in the 50s 60s there were some similar features).

    There is no public project in Hungary without corruption, as a minimum the work will be be given to a relative/friend/party supporter with modest overpricing.
    Standard kickbacks are 225%, up to 40-45%.
    Studies and similar BS the overpriced timesX, often the paper is worthless or just cut/paste compilation. Look at this website, price USD 1.6 million

    Не валяй дурака. Orban let Malev go bankrupt, which was probably the right way to go, since it had been making loses for a decade.

    And Orban with his racketeers wants to build a new airline ?!?
    Please give me break. All Orban wants if to pocket the bribes, this is what they have been doing all the time, on turbo the last 6 years.
    How many smart projects with state participation in H. you can list, how many without brazen corruption ?

  12. Sorry

    Standard kickbacks are 20-25%,…

  13. Observer,

    I am not nervous because what you say doesn’t make sense at all and doesn’t really count. Reality counts and you gonna learn a lot soon, not from me, though. It looks like you getting nervous. Never mind, calling others dumb or stupid doesn’t make you any smarter. And it’s too cheap to make anybody nervous. Try to make sense instead.

    And ➔ this is important, not only for you but for many of you. You might hate Orban — I don’t like him either — but don’t lie and don’t loose contact with reality. The world is not turning around him. He is just a small brick in the wall, he is not the cause he is just surfing on the waves.
    A skillful private dancer. No one ever wants to show, see the bigger, the full picture and no one wants to speak about it.

    Orban whatever big mouth he has is under control and there is corruption working well everywhere not just in Orbanistan.

    “November 24, 2014 By Benjamin Fulford :

    Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin spent four hours talking alone with each other. Merkel is fluent in Russian and Putin is fluent in German so they did not need any translators. Judging from various comments by these two leaders and their top government officials in the week since that meeting, the main topic of discussion was Germany joining the BRICS alliance. Other topics were: the splitting of Eastern Europe into Russian and German zones of influence,……….

    And momentarily that’s what we are heading for:


  14. And this. Who is the boss here or in the other photo I gave up there?


  15. @Richard

    Let’s not usurp this space for personal bouts, but once.

    I made contributions e.g. the figures on corruption taken from resent Hungarian ELTE research and a Transparency Intl. report. Contribution is also my opinion re facts I dispute or ideas I find crazy.

    “Reality counts and you gonna learn a lot soon, not from me, though.” My thoughts too.
    FYI I have been observing or been a bit in politics for 40 years, but stupidity (I don’t mean you, OK?) and gullibility still take me by surprise at times.

    Your lines re EU leaders being all like Orban, EU being police states, re secret plans for “splitting of Eastern Europe into Russian and German zones of influence” and assorted grand conspiracies you call “the reality”, Russia nuking whoever, etc. etc. are so way off they don’t deserve specific comment. Like one doesn’t argue with religion, just dismiss it.

    But don’t despair, you have good thoughts like:
    History “.. it’s the power elite who uses the same tools and applies the same tricks for ages”.
    The link between big business and politics.
    Orban .. he is just surfing on the waves..

    See, just stay calm, no paranoia, look around, think. There is no other “the reality”.

    • Avatar Charlie London says:


      Unfortunately this poster is conspiracy-theory central.

      He speaks in code – where – typically Hungarian – words mean only what the poster believes them to mean.

      I’m sure you’ve heard if David Icke? He’s completely ridiculed in England. A complete doo-lully tap conspiracy theorist – seek out his website for a truly loony minute.

      This poster has used the link to Icke on a couple of instances – and when words like ‘controllers’ ‘programners’ and ‘power elite’ are used he’s referring to some hidden power that somehow Soros is tied up with – but straight off the Icke website.

      It’s all an ectoplasmic belch ©Charlie London.

      For a laugh – have a look at the Icke website. It’s unbelievable that people believe this stuff.

      But only arsiots (©Charlie London) peddle it.

      Pathetic Central.

  16. Observer,

    I don’t despair especially not after being lectured by you, as you did the same that I, you only gave me your opinion. A few figures too but it takes us nowhere. It’s not upon how smart or gullible we are, or for how long you have been observing politics, it’s all upon how much Intel we have. None of us have enough to know what will happen therefore the whole things remain nothing more than guessing, i.e. entertaining each other.

    Fulford is CIA Handelsblatt (I gave you a translation appeared in VT) just printed out Medvedev’s warning.


    Not my opinion, not my fantasy, get it? Conspiracy theory is a rubber bone given to us to mock serious things and make them a joke. Don’t chew it.

    Once more, I certainly understand all the corruption and the mafia state of Orban, but it has no value without inserting it in the big picture. Do it, explain it I will be interested in reading it.

  17. Charlie,

    hello Mr. Copy-paste. Your little disgusting site vigilante.

    How many times do I have to tell you to man up and tell me straight if you have something to tell about me, and not to hide behind other posters comments to insult me or others. Do you need me to spoon feed you?

    And please give up your old stupid habit that you do all the time on every boards talking to yourself and replying your very own posts. It makes you look really imbecile. Go and play with your mother, little buster.

  18. Observer and Charlie,

    Now listen up you two idiots.

    I brought some points to the discussion and this “pill” thing is getting boring, let alone it doesn’t really exceed the 70 IQ level. You are totally speechless and are on kindergarten level, good you don’t say “na-na na-na na-na” or “ha ha, I got more ice cream than you did”. Now that’s about your IQ level and arguing abilities.

    Is this your counter point? You are ridiculous. You’re only marginalizing yourself.
    you are criticizing others, bragging with your knowledge but just can’t discuss anything. If you think Benjamin Fulford is wrong then tell us what’s happening in reality, or if you think Medvedev is joking then tell us what the Russians are up to. Of course everybody is stupid and ignorant but you.

    Please find an intro about B. F. below.
    Mr. Copy-paste alias Charlie,
    I’m sorry I broke your heatedly ticking little heart unmasking your plagiarism here on this board


    but when you go stubbornly multiplying your own stupidity in frustration, like you carry on this stupid “(©Charlie London)” thing since then, only makes you look even more stupid. Little sulky boy. Mammy doesn’t wanna play with you? And if you want to irk me try to find out something new on your own and forget about that “pill” thing, don’t copy-paste even that.

    Now, I had enough of your hogwash and leave you both alone and I say goodbye with an old G.B. Shaw quotes:
    “I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.”

    “Benjamin Fulford has worked in Japan as a correspondent for Knight Ridder, the International Financing Review, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun English edition, and the South China Morning Post before moving to Forbes magazine, where he was the Asian Bureau chief from 1998 to 2005. His investigative reports pursued scandals in the Japanese government and business world. After leaving Forbes he wrote a series of books in Japanese some of which became best sellers, and began publishing on the internet.”

    • Okay Richard, Why don’t you shut the fuck up for once! I think it is quite obvious that it is you that is acting like a school yard bully once again! Get over yourself. Everything you wrote above is a projection of yourself. Insults…..acting like a know it all….childish attacks, ALL OF IT. You didn’t even pass kindergarten by the looks of your commentary. Pretty sickening excuse for a supposed intelligent person as far as I am concerned. Quit taking up all the space in this blog for your bullying. Go be a bull in a China shop somewhere else. Sick of your bullshit!

      • “Why don’t you shut the fuck up for once!”

        Welcome back fine lady. We need someone to show us how to be an intelligent gentle poster. 🙂

  19. Avatar amigo from Moscow says:

    Don`t forget 1942-43 Voronez, Russia, fucking nazi… We remember hugarians soldiers and your sadism…

  20. My appologies to Chris for the language, just have had enough with this Richard charachter. He simply cannot handle not being #1 poster or something.

    • Avatar Charlie London says:

      Liz – I share your frustrastion.

      The object of your ire just devalues Chris’ blog – but even humour can’t deal with it.

      Our only defence is to ignore it – but tacit acceptance assumes everyone agrees with the crap.

      We should be thankful that he doesn’t contribute to another place – that you know of.

    • Liz,

      please don’t be apologetic. You don’t need. No one has hard feeling about your post, it’s you the way you are. Not the first time you go vulgar, we (all readers not only posters) know your character. You see, we are almost the same, we speak up when we don’t like something. And when you were lecturing me you did the same what I did, the only difference between us is that I have never been so common and vulgar or plebeian like you, but I also respond when I feel insulted. BTW I didn’t insult you. Another difference between us is that I only respond that way to those who are fixing me personally and I don’t start the fight. But I fight if required I go.

      Cheer up Liz, it’s not the end of the world. 🙂 There are other people here too that you might not like but it’s the part of the game. Go comment the topic. 🙂 I did it first, that created the stir, I wrote something that others didn’t like, went sarcastic and I returned their kindness.

      • Don’t flatter yourself Richard, you certainly don’t have the effect you would like to have on me. I speak my mind vulgarities and all. You seem to have a problem with that, but have no problem tooting your own horn, patting yourself on the back and insisting you are more intelligent than everyone else. Pathetic in my opinion. You seem to have a problem with someone pointing in out though. If you don’t like me doing so, don’t be quite so obvious then. I don’t have a problem with posters here, just you because you insist on bullying others. I tend to stand up to bullies. If you don’t like it, you have two choices…..get lost or maybe change your tactics. This isn’t a competition it simply is a discussion board. You just like to be the only one heard, in that case record yourself and playback why don’t you?

        • I don’t have problem with you, you have with me.
          You are vulgar and common but at least straight, sincere and not insidiously manipulative.

  21. USSR created in Hungary the national carrier, and the EU bankrupted it.

  22. Russian should take an example from the Americans. Do just like they do. Reset couple of nuclear bombs on Budapest, and then would be friends with Hungary as the Americans and the Japanese

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