In what is seemingly a major U-turn, Hungarian budget carrier Wizz Air has announced that due to “industry supply limitation”, it will no longer continue with its intention to resume flights between Abu Dhabi and Moscow with its offshoot Wizz Air Abu Dhabi. The route was only launched in December 2021.
The statement made no mention of the considerable backlash the carrier had experienced as a consequence of its early August announcement of the intended resumption of flights to Moscow that had been suspended since February 27 after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. While Europe has banned all flights to Russia and all Russian planes have been banned from European airspace as a consequence of Western sanctions, the UAE has maintained a neutral stance and not imposed any sanctions on Russia.
Initially, in response to the public backlash and threats to boycott the airline, Wizz air tried to justify its decision. “Wizz Air Abu Dhabi is a national UAE carrier that operates in line with the UAE’s national regulations and policies,” the company has been replying to critical tweets. “The airline is resuming its operation to Moscow to meet travel demand for passengers wishing to fly to and from Russia from the UAE capital. All UAE national airlines are currently operating direct flights to Russia.”