Wizz Air U-turn on Russian flights

Wizz Air Abu Dhabi has withdrawn plans to relaunch daily connections to Moscow.

 

In a statement to Reuters, a spokesperson said the airline “has had to defer the start date of its flight operations from Abu Dhabi to Moscow until further notice due to industry supply chain limitations.” It later clarified that this related specifically to the availability of spare parts and maintenance provisions for its aircraft in Russia.

The Emirati low-cost carrier, an offshoot of Hungary’s Wizz Air, was due to return to the Russian capital in early October, a move that attracted widespread criticism on social media, including calls to boycott the Wizz Air Group.

The airline is 51% owned by the Abu Dhabi Development Holding Company
The airline is 51% owned by the Abu Dhabi Development Holding Company Wizz Air Abu Dhabi

The airline had earlier responded to the backlash with a brief statement on Twitter, noting the services would be operated by Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, which is 51% owned by the Abu Dhabi Development Holding Company (ADQ) and registered in the United Arab Emirates, and that it would be flown under the Gulf nation’s regulations.

The carrier suspended services to Moscow/Vnukovo in late February in response to Ukraine-related sanctions and a tit-for-tat banning of Russian and EU-registered airlines from their respective airspace.

Unlike western carriers, those based in the UAE, including Etihad Airways, Emirates,  and Air Arabia didn’t suspend their respective routes to Russia in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

Wizz Air Holdings has confirmed that its Wizz Air UK and Wizz Air subsidiaries have no plans to restart services to Russia.