Viktor Orbán probably uses Hungarian military aircraft for personal travel

An independent member of the Hungarian parliament, Ákos Hadházy, announced on Monday that he will file a complaint against Prime Minister Viktor Orbán for allegedly using a Hungarian Defense Forces plane to visit Italy with his family in late February.

Throughout his time in politics, Viktor Orban put a lot of effort into projecting the image of a regular guy, just your neighbor going about his daily business. On his Facebook profile, he can be seen cooking and drinking pálinka, a popular homemade liquor in Hungary. When Atlatszo discovered that Orban had been utilizing a luxurious private jet reserved for the super-rich, it damaged his image as the typical Hungarian last year.

He is operating numerous non-commercial planes in addition to that one. The largest private bank in Hungary and the Hungarian military possess several of these. According to our data, the following is a list of the private aircraft the Prime Minister of Hungary utilized in the previous year.

Two Airbus A319s owned by the Hungarian military

Last February, the two Airbuses were given to the Hungarian military. When unveiled to the media, István Simicskó, the then-minister of defense, insisted that they were “not government aircraft” and that the army would use them.

Viktor Orban began using the two aircraft often. Nevertheless, not long after, they touched down in Hungary. He has traveled to Israel, Montenegro, Moscow (Russia), and Salzburg using the Aircraft with flight number 605. (Austria). During his flights to Kyrgyzstan, Prague (Czech Republic), and Zagreb, he used the one with flight number 604 (Croatia).

Atlatszo reported in November 2018 that Orban flew aboard one of the Airbuses to Milan’s La Scala to spend the night and take in an opera performance.

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Orban most probably used a military aircraft to spend an evening in Milan’s La Scala

The Austrian private jet Orban used to travel to soccer matches

On July 25, Orban flew to Bulgaria in a Bombardier Global 6000 to witness a game of his favorite team, MOL-Vidi. On his way home, Atlatszo captured a picture of Orban leaving the plane in Budapest. The aircraft is worth 53 million euros and is registered in Austria as OE-LEM.

According to the press release from Orban’s spokesperson, wealthy businessman István Garancsi, the owner of MOL-Vidi, gave the flight as a gift. When asked about the flight to Parliament, Orban personally responded that he has been traveling like this for thirty years and will travel like this further.

Despite the fact that the Hungarian government insists that OE-LEM is somehow associated with István Garancsi, Atlatszo discovered numerous connections between the aircraft and Lőrinc Mészáros, Hungary’s richest man and Orban’s childhood buddy from the village of Felcst.

Using a government- or military-owned aircraft for official travel is perfectly typical anywhere in the globe for a prime minister or other government officials.

The two Airbuses and the two Falcons, according to the Hungarian military, are not official government aircraft but rather military aircraft that are flown for military operations. The latter is cited as a defense for withholding crucial information: we are unable to learn how much the planes cost and how much it costs to run them.

The military responds that Orban’s flights on these aircraft are part of the pilots’ training when questioned about them.

Photo: Consilium

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