Budget airline Wizz Air has confirmed that it will cease flying to Moldova from March 2023.
The Hungarian carrier announced its decision on February 27, 2023, citing concerns over safety and the “elevated” risk over Moldova’s airspace.
All flights to the Moldovan capital, Chisinau, will be suspended from March 14, 2023, but the airline said it would add extra flights from the Romanian city of Iasi instead.
The move by Wizz Air follows growing tensions between Russia and Moldova.
In February, the Moldovan government claimed that two Russian cruise missiles entered its country’s airspace.
Recent reports also suggest that Moldova has been ready to sabotage the runway of Chisinau International Airport (KIV) since the first days of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Safety of the passengers and crew remain Wizz Air’s number one priority,” Wizz Air said in a statement. “Following the recent developments in Moldova and the elevated, but not imminent, risk in the country’s airspace, Wizz Air has made the difficult but responsible decision to suspend all flights to Chisinau from the 14th of March.”
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in Moldova also confirmed it had received notification of Wizz Air’s decision to suspend flying to the country.
The BBC reported that Wizz Air only requested approval for its summer flight schedule on February 14 from the Civil Aviation Authority.
The Moldovan government said on its official Telegram channel: “After analysing the risks, government agencies have determined that flights in the national airspace can be carried out safely by following a number of procedures, and they regret Wizz Air’s sudden decision.”
Wizz Air also announced a new service to Berlin, and more flight routes across Europe to destinations including Barcelona and London.