Danger in the sky: why Wizz Air announced its withdrawal from Moldova
Wizz Air has informed the Moldovan Civil Aviation Authority that it will cancel all flights from Chisinau. Find out more about the reasons for the company's decision
Hungarian low-cost airline WizzAir has announced that it will cancel all flights to and from the Moldovan capital Chisinau starting March 14.
"Following the recent events in Moldova and the increased, but not inevitable, risk in the country's airspace, Wizz Air has made a difficult but responsible decision to cancel all flights to Chisinau", - the airline said in an official statement, avianews.com reports.
It is assumed that this date may be due to the fact that in the event of a flight cancellation in less than 2 weeks, passengers would be entitled to additional compensation, not just a refund.
In particular, the Moldovan edition of Newsmaker notes that this information was confirmed to them by the Civil Aviation Authority, promising to provide clarification later.
What will change after Wizz Air flights in Moldova are canceled?
The airline said that it will increase the number of flights and routes from the Romanian city of Iasi, which is located 95 km from Chisinau.
After March 14, Wizz Air will launch flights from Iasi to Berlin and increase the frequency of flights to Barcelona, Milan, Bologna, Rome, Dortmund, Larnaca, London, and Treviso.
Previously, Wizz Air operated flights to all these cities from the capital of Moldova.
However, there will be no alternative to Chisinau-Budapest and Chisinau-Prague flights from Iasi. These flights will be canceled.
Wizz Air offers passengers on these routes a 100% refund or 120% credit to their Wizz account. This credit can be used to purchase Wizz Air tickets and services on other routes.
"Wizz Air remains committed to the Moldovan market and loyal to its customers. We will continue to assess the situation regularly to re-establish our base in Moldova as soon as it is safe to do so", - the airline said in a statement.
Why did Wizz Air decide to leave the airspace of Moldova?
It is known that Chisinau has become one of the main aviation "hubs" for Ukrainians since the beginning of the full-scale war.
During the period of russia's massive missile attacks on the territory of Ukraine, enemy missiles repeatedly flew through Moldova's airspace, and their fragments fell on the border. This situation could have led to a potential collision between missiles and civilian aircraft.
In particular, on February 14, 2023, Moldova closed its entire airspace for 2 hours due to an unknown object in the air that looked like a weather balloon.
In addition, in early February, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine had intercepted the Kremlin's plans to take control of Moldova. A few days later, Moldovan President Maia Sandu confirmed this information and said that russia was indeed planning an invasion.
This situation creates a potential risk of hijacking a Wizz Air plane in Chisinau. As you know, due to the war in Ukraine, the low-cost airline lost control of three aircraft at once.
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