LONDON – Wizz Air has announced a potential return to Ukraine on social media, with the carrier allowing customers to book flights for a July departure date.
It is understood that flights to Kyiv-Zhulyany will begin on July 9, with services to Lviv to commence from July 5.
The Zhulyany flights will commence from London Luton on a twice-weekly basis, with flights to Lviv also launching on a twice-weekly service from the airport too.
Flights Are Conditional…
Of course, given the scale of the conflict at the moment, the flight launches are conditional on the situation in the country and whether the war will stop.
Wizz Air said in a statement that “the safety of our passengers and crew remains our top priority” and that even now “all Wizz Air flights to/from Ukraine are temporarily suspended until further notice.”
It isn’t to say that Wizz Air has some insider information about when the war will end, but there must be a level of confidence there that flights should be able to resume by that point.
Wizz does want to go further with this expansion, with Interfax Ukraine reporting that the following flights would also be served by Wizz Air as well:
Will These Flights Actually Happen?
The strategy of Wizz Air is pretty unclear surrounding such a re-introduction of flights into the region.
It is probably safe to say at this stage, that whilst the conflict continues with such intensity, these flights will probably not happen, and that it would be a feat of achievement if it was given the all-clear to restart.
But moving forward, that level of optimism could easily be seen as a cynical ploy to make some money.
However, if the flights don’t go ahead, then Wizz will just have to refund them, so this is why the motive and perspective are unclear at this point.
Wizz Air Wants To Restore Its Presence in the Region…
Another perspective into why it has announced a return to the region could be to restore its presence and get ahead of the curve against its competitors.
Take Ryanair for example. The airline has been very eager to return to the region as the tourist links originally were very strong and resulted in large load factors.
If the carrier can get the edge in that market, then that would make more sense into why they are announcing ticket sales in an area full of conflict at present.
Wizz’s presence in Ukraine was already strong pre-pandemic having bases in Lviv and Kyiv as well as serving the likes of Donetsk, Kharkiv, Luhansk, Odesa, Simferopol & Zaporizhzhia.
Whatever The Motive…
It remains clear that Wizz Air is banking on a high level of optimism about the conflict in order to make a return to the region as quickly as possible.
Obviously, we have to see how the rest of the conflict unfolds and whether it comes to an end by the time the flights are supposed to launch.
In the meantime, they probably won’t generate much in ticket sales as Ukraine is a global issue at present, so it is probably more for a show at this stage.
That being said, it is the hope of those in the industry and around the world that this conflict comes to a close sooner rather than later, as the devastation caused already will impact those for a lifetime.