When delegates arrived in Budapest for this year’s Routes Europe forum they could have been excused for thinking they had arrived at the Hungarian capital’s airport decades ago, because less than a minute after departing the modern Terminal 2 at Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport they would have found themselves passing the Aviation Memorial Park Ferihegy, home to many of the Classic Soviet era airliners operated by the country’s former national carrier, Malev Hungarian Airlines.
Certainly worth a visit for all you aviation geeks, the facility enables you to journey through more than five decades of commercial aviation in Hungary as you travel between the various Antonov, Ilyushin, Lisunov, Mil, Tupolev and Yakovlev aircraft painted in different variations of Malev’s livery that up until the mid-1990s had provided air connectivity linking Hungary to the rest of the world. You can even get up close and personal with the aircraft taking a trip down memory lane as you sit inside the cabin or even the cockpits.
The open-air display first opened as the Ferihegy Aviation Museum in 1993 when Malev started to acquire new western-built aircraft equipment as a sort of storage ground for retired aircraft and instruments. However, it was in June 2004 that the Ferihegy Aircraft Memorial Park was formally established as a Cultural Foundation and took full responsibility for the management of the site and preservation of the airliners.