Malév Moves Headquarters Back to Budapest Airport

In a press release on their website Malév announces that the entire Malév management structure and headquarters are moving back to the airport. The plan is for approximately 600 employees of the Hungarian national carrier to move into three renovated offices at Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport by the summer of 2012. An agreement to this effect was signed this week by senior executives of Budapest Airport and Malév, after the boards of both companies approved the project. János Berényi the Chairman of the Board is fully committed to the moving happening in the interest of the savings and the rationalization.

The return of the board of directors and the office staff of the airline to the airport can save almost 1 million Euros on annual base. Under the plans, Malév will move into the three-storey buildings that are located behind the Aeroplex repair and maintenance hangars. Together, these three blocks have a floor area of 10,000 sqm. Until now the three buildings, which were also used by Malév earlier, were reduced to their original reinforced concrete skeletons plus roofs following their complete gutting by Budapest Airport, even down to removal of the original facades. The entire infrastructure including the heating and electrical systems, computer network, water and sewage pipelines, and even the lifts, are being replaced. Budapest Airport is bearing the total cost of the renovation and the reconstruction of the office blocks is being overseen by Óbuda Architectural Studio Kft.

When signing the contract René Droese, Director of Business Unit Properties of Budapest Airport, stressed that, “We consider it an extremely important development that the National Airline is now shifting its headquarters to the airport, and we are proud of the fact that with this move we will contribute to Malév’s more efficient and profitable operation. It is important both for the airline and the airport that the entire management of the company is as close to the area of operation as possible, thereby saving considerable time, expense and rental fees.

Chief Executive Officer Martin Gauss welcomed the signing of the agreement thus: “Right from the very start I considered the realization of the new Malév HQ to be important, therefore it was a particular pleasure for me that we could sign an agreement to this effect with the airport management just a few days ago. The fact that the national airline’s headquarters can move back to its rightful place, at the airport, thanks to the latest, large-scale airport developments, is an extremely important step in the life of Malév. The new facility makes it possible for the majority of senior management, office sections, and those in the operational areas, to work together in a single modern centre. This will make the operation of Malév far more efficient and simpler.”

EU Presidency – Puskas remembered in Beijing

The best known Hungarian of all time, soccer legend Ferenc Puskas was remembered at a prominent event for Hungary’s EU Presidency in Beijing on Friday, MTI reports.

Speakers talked to the 300 guests including diplomats and Chinese mediaabout Hungary, presenting its landmarks and showing the documentary “Puskas, Hungary” by Tamas Almasi during a dinner where Hungarian specialities where served.
The gala was held in the Guo Cui Yuan National Treasure Park.

Hungary’s Ambassador Sandor Kusai adressed the event, and said the European Union was like a soccer team not with 11 but with 27 players and Hungary has been coach of it for six months since January htis year. When speaking about Puskas he said the Hungarian soccer player had always made his best effort to learn the language, local culture and traditions of where evere he had lived in the world. Widely popular artist in China, Chen Peisi, whom his father gave the name after the Pest side of Budapest, entartained the audience with personal stories of his visits to Budapest.

Ottó Gergye has been appointed as Malév Chief Commercial Officer

Ottó Gergye, who has been managing the airline’s sales division since the beginning of the year, has been appointed Chief Commercial Officer by the CEO of Malév with effect from 1 May 2011, Malév writes in a press release.

Over the past 15 years Ottó Gergye has amassed considerable experience in the international airline industry: prior to Malév he worked as sales manager at British Airways, where he was responsible for the German, Austrian and Swiss markets. At the beginning of his career he was an airline ticket executive at CWT, then account manager with American Express. Following this he worked as sales and account manager with KLM in Australia, and then at the request of the Flight Center he moved to Shanghai to take up the post of marketing and sales director of the affiliate for Hong Kong and China. At Amadeus he was global key account manager first in Madrid and later in Frankfurt.

He speaks fluent German as well as English and his native language, Hungarian.

Ottó Gergye holds an MBA from the OU Business School in the UK.

US Embassy Understands Renaming of Roosevelt Square

The US Embassy told MTI on Friday that they understand that the city of Budapest has decided to rename Roosevelt Square infront of the Hungarian Academy Of Sciences (Magyar Tudómányos Egyetem) and will find a new location to honour President Roosevelt.

The uS Embassy told in a statement that it is the right of the citizens of Hungary and Budapest to name streets and locations as they wish, without outside influence.

“Mayor Istvan Tarlos has assured us that the change in no way diminishes Hungary’s respect for President Roosevelt, ” the statement said.  Further on it said that the embassy looked forward to working with Mayor Tarlos and the Hungarian government  to continue to honour the legacy of the great Amercian politician, President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Earlier this month, the council of Budapest decided to rename as of May 5 the square east of the Chain Bridge from Roosevelt to Szechenyi Square after Count Istvan Szechenyi, a famous 19th century politician.

There are plans to name a park in front of the US Embassy after Roosevelt, mayor of the Inner City, Antal Rogan told MTI earlier.

Telenor Android Workhop – Focus on Sustainability

Telenor’s fourth Android event scheduled to coincide with the Earth Day focused on sustainable solutions, Telenor Hungary writes in a press release.

Android Workshop Planet revealed how smartphones and their apps can contribute to an environmentally conscious and responsible lifestyle and presented XperiaTM neo, Sony Ericsson’s latest environmentally friendly handset.

Being a responsible company, Telenor is committed to contributing to sustainable growth and raising customer awareness of the options and benefits of an environmentally friendly lifestyle. Its strategy focuses on two major areas: reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions and making customers more environmentally conscious. In line with this commitment, Telenor cut its CO2 emission by 7.7% in 2010 compared to the year before. Under the handset take-back programme launched in 2004, Telenor customers have returned more than 81 tons of old and recyclable handsets to date.
Pursuant to an agreement between the European Commission and handset vendors, operators will sell uniform battery chargers for mobile phones starting from 2012. This change will benefit all stakeholders as the price of mobile handsets is likely to decline (as they’ll no longer be bundled with chargers) and the volume of waste will also be lower since households will need only one charger that shouldn’t be replaced even if they buy a new handset.

As a large enterprise and a mobile operator, Telenor wants to set a model for others to follow also in environmental protection. Therefore, it provides its customers with environmentally friendly solutions such as electronic invoices instead of hardcopy ones. This move saves a lot of time, power and fuel. Telenor customers opting for an electronic invoice save 2.2 tons of paper and 40 trees per year today. If all customers moved to electronic invoices, they could save as much as 200 tons of paper and about 3,300 trees per year.

Mobile technology offers many other opportunities for more predictable and environmentally conscious living. Smartphones, for example, can prevent excessive fuel consumption. If you reduce your time spent driving by only 30 minutes, you can save more energy than the annual energy consumption of a mobile operator per customer and the annual power consumption of a mobile handset combined. Companies can use tele- and videoconferencing to eliminate business travel and reduce their environmental footprint. Every 1,000 kilometres of flight saved reduces per capita carbon emission by 120 to 150 kilograms. The required calls can be easily made using a smartphone or a tablet PC.

“Some simple smartphone apps can help make the world a healthier and better place to live. The traffic layer of GPS and Google maps available also in Hungary, for example, helps you avoid traffic jams. This way, you can save time and fuel and reduce your car’s emissions. Virtual products such as e-books are now available also for Android-based handsets. Downloading e-books you can save the energy used for producing and transporting books and spare many trees”, said Richárd Halmay, head of Corporate Responsibility of Telenor Hungary.

Telenor decided to organize its fourth Android event with sustainability in mind to contribute to more environmentally conscious living. At Android Workshop Planet, experts and NGOs presented apps enabling a more responsible lifestyle. The speakers of WWF Hungary and Telenor introduced the role of mobile communications in sustainable growth and in the successful operation of a non-profit NGO.

The event featured also XperiaTM neo, Sony Ericsson’s new smartphone produced in an environmentally friendly way. The handset delivered with less packaging material, an e-manual and a high-efficiency battery charger is member of the vendor’s Greenheart portfolio. It has been manufactured using recycled plastic and waterborne paint. XperiaTM neo offers a combination of Sony’s most state-of-the-art technologies. Its Reality Display powered by the Mobile BRAVIA® Engine provides a brilliant view and a crystal clear image, while Sony’s award-winning small screen-optimized Exmor R™ technology enables the user to take good quality photos and HD videos even under dim lighting conditions. The handset offers a special multimedia experience with the new Android Gingerbread release.

Hungarian President Recommends Concrete Tasks for the Visegrad Four Group

The  Hungarian President Pal Schmitt, met Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas in Prague on Friday, and  recommended concrete tasks that the four member states could carry out jointly, mti reported on Friday.

The Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, together members of The Visegrad Four would have a stronger voice in the European Union if they took a common position on areas of joint concern, such as energy policy, energy security and the use of nuclear energy.

Schmitt was on an official visit to the Czech Republic on Thursday and Fridayby the invitation of  Czech president Vaclav Klaus.

The Telenor House Won Construction Industry Award

The plaque of the Construction Industry Award granted to the office building of Telenor Hungary was inaugurated at a special event attended by the representatives of main contractor Arcadom, the Mayor of Törökbálint and members of the board of trustees of the Foundation for Constructors’ Masterworks.

The office building of Telenor in Törökbálint was constructed with innovation and a new way of working in mind. It is one of Hungary’s most state-of-the-art and most environmentally friendly corporate headquarters offering an office space of 14,000 square meters on six floors and in nine wings arranged in a fan shape. During the construction project, special environmental solutions, materials and technologies were used to support intelligent building control which saves energy observing both external weather and internal usage conditions. The office building is supplied with energy by one of Hungary’s largest geothermal heat pumps, the seventh largest such system in Europe. The heating and cooling system of the Telenor House is based on geothermal heat pumps and heat probes drilled a hundred meters deep in the ground. The heat exchanger unit of the ventilation system reduces energy waste, while 168 square meters of solar cells generate more than 60% of the energy required to produce hot water for people working in the building. The project involves large-scale outdoor infrastructure development in the green area around the building.

Dr. Jenő Kiss, Chairman of the Building Services Engineering Branch of the Hungarian Chamber of Engineers said it was a pleasure to grant the award to a building whose environmentally conscious design sets a model for other Hungarian companies to follow.

“We are proud that our office building in Törökbálint has won such a prestigious award. The Telenor House is a friendly, environmentally conscious and truly state-of-the-art workplace. Designing it, we wanted to minimize our environmental footprint. This is the reason why the building occupies only 7.7% of the 8-hectare valley which is well below the 30% statutory limit. The House features many solutions reducing our environmental impact and supporting sustainable operation such as light and motion sensors, heat recovery equipment and underground server rooms”, said Orsolya Nyilas, Telenor’s Acting Head of PR.

“The Award is a great recognition for us. We are very proud of this building. This time again, we had a very successful partnership with Zoboki-Demeter and Associates Architects who successfully applied Scandinavian design to local conditions”, said Csaba Borbély, Telenor House’s project leader of main contractor Arcadom.
The Construction Industry Award established in 1999 is announced in several categories every year. Category winners receive a certificate and a bronze frame plaque to be fitted to the wall of the awarded building or a special diploma of merit. The Construction Industry Award aims to recognize companies organizing and managing high-quality construction projects and enhance the reputation of reliable construction services providers.
Arcadom Építőipari Zrt. has been present in the Hungarian construction market for over a decade. Since its establishment, it has constructed buildings with a combined floor space of over 1.5 million and generated total construction revenues of nearly HUF 210 bn. Arcadom’s success is rooted in its decades of experience and professional approach.

Source: telenor hungary press release.

Red cross evacuates – Police arrives to protect

The Hungarian Red Cross evacuated around 300 children and women, at the same time as the organization Véderő (Defense Force) was planning to hold it’s military training camp in the village, also several hundred policemen entered the settlement with strong force to protect the Roma men who stayed in the village, and asked all military uniformed people at the settlement for their IDs, according to Hungarian mtv1 news.

Before noon there were only 5-6 members of the Véderő organization observed in uniform at their base in the settlement, to the Hungarian mtv1 one of the members says that it was a pure coincidence that they held their training camp in Gyöngyöspata, saying that they had bought the area where the training was held in the midst of the events, but that it was a coincidence. Some of the locals say that the whole case has just been blown out of it’s proportions.

The Red Cross evacuated around 300 children and women.  Most of the children where taken to the youth camp at Csillebérci, where the manager told the news that 172 arrived, they are going to stay until Sunday afternoon, and that the Red Cross booked the stay at the camp. The Red Cross states that the training camp of the Véderő organization was not the reason, and that a Roma mother initiated earlier on for an Easter Camp to be held for the kids by the Red Cross, and that is the reason for the stay at the youth camp.

American-Hungarian businessman Richard Field was the one who financed the evacuation, this person was also one of the main financial contributors to the political party LMP’s campaign for the 2010 Parliamentary Elections. LMP didn’t have a statment about this today, but told Hungarian mtv1 news on phone that they didn’t have anything to do with the Gyöngyöspata evacuation, nor Richard Field. They said that the businessman siupported their election campaign, but since then, they haven’t had contact with him.  Richard Field did not answer his phone all day as mtv1 tried to reach him.  The director of the Red Cross said that the camp was not a joint operation, but that the businessman often visits Gyöngyöspata.

The ruling FIDESZ party said that the travels disguised as evacuation, and the spread of fear serve several political parties.  Maté Kocsis, MP for FIDESZ said that “We have to say it out loud that the whole country is today witness to this nefarious and shameful political culture that Jobbik and MSZP, and also according to today’s news it looks like also LMP (political parties ed. ‘s note) continues to go through with”.  Maté Kocsis also said that “What Hungary now needs is peace and not volunteer police.”

World Earth Day Today

Hungary joined the World Earth Day movement, that started in the USA,  21 years ago.
Since then an increasing number of places in the country has been working on informing the population about how important it is to preserve the environment around us, mtv1 news reports

At Szolnok and in Szolnok county, volunteers held a waste gathering operation.
1000 people gathered 150 M³ of waste, ranging from plastic waste to construction material and animal waste.
“It is quite shocking how people don’t take their environment into account. How the just throw away things, from paper, to plastic bottles and other waste” a girl participating at the operation said.
Imre Sárközi, employee of the company managing the public roads and also organizer of this operations says that the volume of waste increases every year  “This day is the day when we are in an advance against the litterers and we win. All the other days the litterers are the ones who win”
4-5 years ago the amount of waste increased significantly, because several landfills in the surrounding area not conforming with EU rules were closed. The regional manager of the Hungarian Public Road Nonprofit Zrt,  Kovács Károly, says “Many residents from the settlements are not willing to pay to have their waste removed. They try this cheaper solution, by dumping their trash on the parking lots”
Cleaning of the parking lots costs the company yearly HUF 50 million, as well as the removal of this waste costs another HUF 5 million, Hungarian public broadcaster MTV1 reports.