15 AUGUST 2022


© 2022 Business Travel News Ltd.

Article from BTNews 15 AUGUST 2022

COMMENT: Wizz Air and Moscow *

I for one will not be flying Wizz Air for the foreseeable future.

reports in this issue that Wizz Air plans to fly to Moscow from October, not from the UK, which is banned, but by its Abu Dhabi-based subsidiary.  What a PR coup for Putin, a latter-day Hitler. His propaganda machine is as evil as Goebbels.

This provides an awkward situation for Wizz and its Chief Executive József Váradi.  

Soon after the Abu Dhabi announcement he issued a statement making clear his commitment to Ukraine.

“Wizz Air is Ukraine's home town airline and we are here to continue to support in any way we can during these difficult times. Our aim is to alleviate the hardships of Ukrainian citizens".

The airline has also offered 100,000 free tickets for Ukrainians on all continental European and UK flights operated by Wizz Air Hungary and Wizz Air UK between 15 September and 8 December 2022.

Váradi’s problem is that Wizz Air Plc only owns 49% of Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, the balance in the hands of a state-backed holding company.  The sight of a very Wizz Air aircraft landing at Vnukovo airport this coming October will no doubt be publicized by the Kremlin’s disinformation team.

Educated at the London School of Economics Váradi is something of an Anglophile.  His airline is listed on the London Stock Exchange.  The announcement was clearly a surprise to him.

He should have the courage to tell his UAE partners to withdraw from the proposed Moscow route, and make sure the world knows.

Wizz Air flies from Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Gatwick, Liverpool and Luton airports.  Unless Wizz Air stops its proposed Moscow reinvention count me out for flights on the airline.

Malcolm Ginsberg

See also in this week's BTN Cardiff reduction for Wizz Air.

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OUR READERS' FINEST WORDS (All times and dates are GMT)

All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum

John Oshea, Ireland

I agree with the sentiments of the article however would expect less histrionics from a Trade publication ( Hitler, Goebbels etc ) ...leave that to the Sun, Daily Mail, Fox News etc

john hepworth, United Kingdom

The Irish Leasing Companies have a big problem with over 500 leased Boeing/Airbus that they cant get their hands on.From what I hear some a/c are already being used for spares to keep the going.

John Harris, Chelsea

I agree with these sentiments. If would be Wizz flyers were to fly with others Mr VĂ¡radi would stop the operation before it starts

Jeff Harris, York

Whilst the Moscow flights are alarming the pull-out from Doncaster is worse. How much help did Wizz get in the first place to come to Doncaster? And now Cardiff too

Leslie Smith, Manchester

An embargo should be put on Wizz with The Sun shouting very high.

Simon Grigor, United Kingdom

Malcolm's stance is very laudable. But does it also apply to, for instance, Turkish Airlines - an airline he might have more cause to use when he sadly 'retires' in October given its incredible network of global connections - or El Al, to name but two others who continue flying to Russia? On a related note I transited through Istanbul in July and it was interesting to see services from no fewer than four Russian airlines (Aeroflot, Rossiya, Red Wings and Azimuth) in and out that day, but also interesting that it was only Aeroflot who were using a western-built aircraft (an A.330 - conveniently re-registered 'RA-'). The other three airlines were all using the home-manufactured Sukhoi Superjet. One wonders for how long the Russian airlines will be able to continue using their Boeings and Airbuses, but also whether those Sukhois have any western-manufactured parts that may, in time, wear out and need replacing.