On the afternoon of September 13, 2022, the aviation world was gripped when a Wizz Air Airbus A320-200, registered as HA-LWS, flew out of Ukraine while battles raged, after it had become stranded due to the Russian invasion.
Despite Ukrainian air space being closed, though, the Hungarian low-cost carrier jet made its daring escape.
The Airbus A320 took off from Danylo Halytskyi International Airport Lviv (LWO) and found safety at Katowice Airport (KTW), Poland, seven months after it had first become stranded.
However, HA-LWS was not the only Wizz Air A320 that was stuck in Ukraine as a result of the invasion by Russian troops.
At Sikorsky International Airport Kyiv (IEV), three other A320s were also caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The aircraft registered HA-LWY arrived in Kyiv from Italy, whereas HA-LPJ arrive from Germany and HA-LPM from Hungary.
Now, 20 months on, Wizz Air CEO József Váradi has revealed in an interview with Corriere Della Sera what has happened to the three aircraft and whether they are still operable.
According to the CEO, the engines from two of the aircraft were transported across the border into Poland whereas the other aircraft is still intact in Ukraine.
A spokesperson for Wizz Air told AeroTime that in the future the engines could be refitted to the two aircraft, which could then be flown.
The spokesperson said: “None of Wizz Air aircraft based in Ukraine at the start of the conflict has been damaged. Wizz Air managed to rescue one aircraft from Lviv, as well as remove and transport to Poland the fitted engines from two of the three aircraft based in Kyiv. Wizz Air can re-install these engines onto the subject aircraft and, following performance of required maintenance checks, fly them again. One aircraft stays intact in Kyiv.”