HA-LIA  Lisunov Li-2P                                      (c/n  18423503)


                                          During World War II, of course, all civil aviation in Europe was suspended.  By March 1946
                                          Hungary was well and truly within the Soviet bloc and hence the airline company formed to pick
                                          up where Malert left off in 1940 was the Hungarian-Soviet Civil Air Transport Joint Stock Com-
                                          pany (Magyar Szovje Légiforgalmi Tarsasag), known simply in the west as Maszovlet.  A modest
                                          fleet of Lisunov Li-2s (DC-3s built under licence in the USSR) was employed to begin services,
                                          although eventually as many as 23 of these workhorses would be registered to the company. .
                                          In 1947 a service was commenced between Budapest and Nyireghaza, via Debrecen.   A route
                                          to Belgrade in December 1947 had to be suspended when Jugoslavia's Tito, having broken with
                                          the Soviet Union, objected to Maszovlet's presence.  Expansion was very slow until the formation
                                          of Malev in 1954 when the Hungarian government obtained complete control of the airline by buying
                                          out the USSR's interest.   At that time it was renamed Magyar Legikozlekedesi Vallalat.   HA-LIA,
                                          the first machine in the new airline was formerly with the Rumania line TARS as YR-TAC.  It was,
                                          I believe preserved after it was withdrawn from service, although I have no idea as to its ultimate fate.
                                          Photos from the Gábor Toth collection showing it (above) in Maszovlet titling and (below) with Malev.