Felcsút Travel Club

Another trip proves the link between Lőrinc Mészáros and the two Austrian aircraft

It is with great sadness that we report that neither the Mészáros family nor the hoi polloi of the Hungarian business community are likely to experience the excitements of flying Wizz Air anytime soon.

President of Puskás Akadémia Lőrinc Mészáros recently visited Marbella in the south of Spain, where he attended the first division team Puskás Akadémia FC’s training camp and a pre-season friendly. According to aircraft-tracking sites, the Felcsút entrepreneur used both a helicopter, registered under OE-XWY, and a private jet, registered under OE-HUG. Both aircrafts have been previously linked to the country’s richest man.

Just last week, his wife Andrea Várkonyi gave off an endless litany of praise about their lives to Story magazine. She talked about their shared song, the details of when they got engaged, and other private matters – all topics weighing on the public’s minds in the current fraught economic and political environment.

Várkonyi explained Mészáros’ love for donating: “he was deprived as a child,” she said. “He remembers what it’s like to not be able to go on holiday or buy a change of clothes.” Now, of course, the public procurement whiz no longer has those concerns.

On January 8, sportal.hu reported that Puskás Akadémia FC would travel for a two-week training camp to Marbella between January 14 and 26. The team held two daily training sessions and played three pre-season friendlies. The last of these was held on January 25 against the Czech Sparta Praha.

A photo posted to the official Puskás Akadémia social media page revealed that the club president Lőrinc Mészáros attended the last training match.

Budaörs – Budapest – Malaga

Átlátszó was curious to know how Mészáros got from Budapest to Marbella, so we checked the ADS-B Exchange aircraft tracking site. A helicopter with registration number OE-XWY – which had been used by the Mészáros family before – took off from Budaörs Airport at 6:30 a.m. on January 24, the day before the training match. The helicopter made the journey to Ferihegy in less than ten minutes and landed at the Liszt Ferenc International Airport at 6:40 a.m. – a swift journey.

Shortly afterwards, at 6:46 a.m., the OE-HUG-registered private jet, also connected previously to the Felcsút contractor, appeared on the tracking site. The aircraft departed for Malaga at 6:49 a.m. and arrived shortly after 10:00 a.m.

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The OE-HUG journey from Budapest to Malaga on 24 January 2024 (source: ADS-B Exchange)

On January 25, the Bombardier BD-100 Challenger 350 luxury jet, registered under OE-HUG, took off from the Malaga airport runway at 16:33 p.m. and landed at Ferihegy three hours later, at 19:34 p.m.

The helicopter, which had arrived at Ferihegy from Budaörs Airport at 19:15 p.m., was waiting for the aircraft and took off again at 19.37 p.m. to fly back to Budaörs.

It was clear from the movements of the two aircrafts and from the air traffic data of Liszt Ferenc International Airport that the helicopter taxied the passengers of the private jet, Lőrinc Mészáros included, from Budaörs to Ferihegy and then, after their stay in Marbella, took them from Ferihegy to the Budaörs airport.

What do we know about the helicopter?

At the end of 2023, a reader of szegeder.hu noticed at Szeged airport that Lőrinc Mészáros and his wife Andrea Várkonyi got out of an Austrian-registered (OE-XYW) Agusta A109SP Da Vinci helicopter before they got into a Mercedes.

It was clear from the article that this was not just a one-off helicopter ride: interviews confirmed that they had seen the Mészáros couple’s Mercedes convoy drive out of Szeged airport on other occasions (Andrea Várkonyi was born in Szeged and continues to enjoy ties to Szeged.)

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The OE-XWY helicopter (photo: Barnabás Árvai)

Válaszonline found that the helicopter belongs to the fleet of an aircraft company owned by Austrian arms manufacturer and businessman Gaston Glock, who is tied closely to radical right-wing politicians. The helicopter in question is not listed among the aircraft available for hire.

hvg360 looked back at the helicopter’s previous trips and found that it regularly flies to destinations linked to Mészáros – for example, whereever private jet OE-LEM happens to be, or the Alcsútdoboz golf club owned by the entrepreneur, or the luxury hunting lodge in Krystinaberek near Mosonmagyaróvár, built by the Mészáros family.

What do we know about the plane?

While investigating the routes of the helicopter used by the Mészáros family, hvg360 found the Austrian private jet, registered OE-HUG. The aircraft has been in use on several occasions with the larger Bombardier, registration OE-LEM, previously enjoyed by the Mészáros clan.

In 2021, the two private jets visited Bordeaux, France, near to where László Kalocsai, the head of Mészáros’ wine business, bought a 65-hectare vineyard.

The operator of the Bombardier BD-100 Challenger 350 luxury jet, worth between six to seven billion HUF, is the one and same Avcon Jet Gmbh that operates the Bombardier Global Express 6000 (OE-IMB) used by László Szíjj, previously reported on by Átlátszó.

hvg360 found a direct link between OE-HUG and Lőrinc Mészáros; the private jet flew to London when the Felcsút entrepreneur and Andrea Várkonyi were there to attend the Havasi Symphonic Concert Show at the Royal Albert Hall together.

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The OE-HUG private aircraft (photo: Barnabás Árvai)

The route data of the aircraft and the frequency of its flights suggest that it is not only the Mészáros family that enjoys traveling in luxury. The private jet is likely used by a small circle of entrepreneurs for their business and leisure activities – the plane frequently flies to exotic, more expensive holiday destinations, often overseas to major European cities and to the Far East.

The OE-HUG was in Beijing during the Hungarian-Chinese summit, where Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó represented Hungary – this indicates that the aircraft is in use by the business community linked to the state’s affairs.

Translated by Vanda Mayer. The original, Hungarian version of this story was written by Kornél Brassai and can be found here. Cover photo: Lőrinc Mészáros at Marbella in January 2024 (photo: Puskás Akadémia/Facebook) and the two Austrian aircraft (photos: Barnabás Árvai)