Support The Moscow Times!

Budget Carrier Wizz Air Intensifying its Interest in Russia

Europe's fourth largest budget airline, Wizz Air, is planning to launch a subsidiary in Russia, according to news reports on Tuesday.

The Hungarian airline now mostly flies in Central and Eastern Europe and wants to create the company Wizz Air Russia, which would fly on 15 to 20 Russian routes, Vedomosti reported. These plans were outlined in the requests that the airline sent to several Russian airports. The airline is looking to start flights in April 2014 using an initial pool of three airplanes.

Wizz Air is half owned by Indigo Partners investment fund, which was a co-investor in creating the Russian discount airline Avianova. The airline went bankrupt in 2011.

Experts say that one of the key barriers to launching a low-cost airline in Russian now would be a lack of airports that can service budget carriers at reasonable rates.

"First of all, there is no necessary infrastructure of alternative, cheaper airports," said Gediminas Ziemelis, board chairman of Avia Solutions Group. "Secondly, the sales of tickets and airplane fuel in Russia are taxed, in contrast to Europe where the airline carriers don't have the same costs."

Domodedovo Airport recently welcomed flights from Russia's first European low-cost airline EasyJet and its representatives said that they are continuing discussions to partner with Wizz Air   .

"This is not the first year that Domodedovo Airport is in discussions with Wizz Air, the same as with other potential partners," the airport's spokesperson Evgeny Konoplev told The Moscow Times.

Wizz Air representatives did not reply to questions about the company's plans for Russia.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more