Wow: Inside Wizz Air’s Massive Ukrainian Expansion

One day after Ukraine and the European Union signed an open skies agreement, Wizz Air expressly announced a…

Wow: Inside Wizz Air’s Massive Ukrainian Expansion

One day after Ukraine and the European Union signed an open skies agreement, Wizz Air expressly announced a massive expansion in Ukraine. This includes the launch of 26 new routes and the stationing of seven extra aircraft in the country.

Not even one day has passed since the European Union and Ukraine signed an open skies agreement. Photo: Getty Images

Wizz Air reacts to EU-Ukraine Open Skies

Yesterday, 12th October 2021, Ukraine and the European Union signed an open skies agreement during a summit in Kyiv. Ukraine has been working on this since 1999, but it wasn’t until Brexit that the process was considerably sped up.

Not even one day later, Wizz Air reacted with a major expansion of its operations between Ukraine and the European Union.

The Hungarian pan-European airline reacted straight away, scheduling today’s conference less than 24 hours in advance. And what an incredible conference it was.

Wizz Air will base an additional seven aircraft in Ukraine by the summer of 2022, and it will launch an incredible 26 new routes from the country.

This is a major expansion, but not unusual for Wizz Air. In May, for example, the airline announced 32 new routes out of Rome Fiumicino and four extra aircraft stationed there.

Wizz-Air-CO2-Emissions-getty
Wizz Air will base seven more aircraft in Ukraine for this expansion. Photo: Getty Images.

26 new routes

The largest expansion will, expectedly, take place in the capital of Ukraine, Kyiv. Wizz Air serves the city via Igor Sikorsky Kyiv International Airport (IEV) in Zhuliany.

From IEV, the new destinations are as follows:

  • Alicante (Spain)
  • Barcelona (Spain)
  • Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg Airport (Switzerland-France-Germany)
  • Brussels (Charleroi Airport) (Belgium)
  • Chania (Greece)
  • Eindhoven (Netherlands)
  • Madrid (Spain)
  • Malaga (Spain)
  • Nice (France)
  • Palma de Mallorca (Spain)
  • Paris (Beauvais Airport) (France)
  • Porto (Portugal)

Paris, Eindhoven, and Brussels will launch in mid-December. Barcelona will start in March 2022. Malaga, Madrid, and Nice will start in May 2022, Porto and Alicante in July, and Basel, Palma, and Chania in August 2022.

Wizz Air already has a base in Kyiv, with three aircraft stationed there. To serve these new routes, the base will grow by five aircraft to a total of eight.

With these new route announcements, Wizz Air is also entering brand new country markets out of Ukraine, serving Spain, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands for the first time from the country.

Wizz Air
Wizz Air loves major expansion announcements. Photo: Getty Images

New flights across the country

Other airports in Ukraine will see new routes too.

From the airport serving the city of Lviv, Danylo Halytskyi International Airport (LWO), the new routes are:

  • Athens (Greece)
  • Barcelona (Spain)
  • Brussels (Charleroi Airport) (Belgium)
  • Eindhoven (Netherlands)
  • Madrid (Spain)
  • Nice (France)
  • Paris (Beauvais Airport) (France)
  • Thessaloniki (Greece)
  • Venice (Treviso Airport) (Italy)

Madrid, Eindhoven, and Paris will start in March 2022, and all others will launch in June 2022.

To support this expansion, Wizz Air will base an additional two aircraft in Lviv for a total of three.

From Odessa International Airport (ODS):

  • Athens (Greece)
  • London (Luton Airport) (Great Britain)
  • Pardubice (Czech Republic)

London starts in March 2022, the other two in July 2022.

From Kharkiv International Airport (HRK):

  • Pardubice (Czech Republic) starting in June 2022
  • Thessaloniki (Greece) starting in March 2022.

What do you think of Wizz Air’s major expansion in four Ukrainian airports just one day after an open skies agreement was signed? Let us know what you think of this story in the comments below.

Source : Simple Flying More   

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LATAM Confirms Plans To Relaunch 787 Sydney Flights Via Auckland

LATAM Airlines Group is hoping to relaunch its iconic Santiago-Auckland-Sidney route during 2022’s first quarter, the airline confirmed…

LATAM Confirms Plans To Relaunch 787 Sydney Flights Via Auckland

LATAM Airlines Group is hoping to relaunch its iconic Santiago-Auckland-Sidney route during 2022’s first quarter, the airline confirmed Simple Flying today. This flight has been suspended since 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the travel restrictions worldwide. Nevertheless, there could be a date in sight to relaunch it.

LATAM wants to reactivate its routes to Auckland and Sydney next year. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

The iconic route

In 2019, LATAM Airlines Group had two destinations in Australia and one in New Zealand. The airline operated the routes Santiago de Chile-Auckland-Sydney, Santiago de Chile-Sydney, and Santiago de Chile-Melbourne, offering 36,091 seats per month.

LATAM used its Boeing 787-8 fleet to connect with Melbourne and the bigger 787-9 to Auckland and Sydney. Simple Flying reviewed LATAM’s business class between Sydney and Auckland in 2019.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Air New Zealand and Qantas also flew between Oceania and South America. Air New Zealand connected Auckland with Buenos Aires using its B777-200/200ER fleet; Qantas flew between Sydney and Santiago with its Boeing 747-400 fleet. Nowadays, there are zero scheduled commercial flights between both regions, although Qantas did operate its largest flight ever between Buenos Aires and Darwin last week.

Both regions have had some of the strictest travel restrictions worldwide, which hasn’t helped either to restore the connectivity. Nevertheless, LATAM expects things will change shortly.

LATAM B787
LATAM will use the Boeing 787-9 in these routes. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Relaunching the route

Today, LATAM sources confirmed Simple Flying that restoring the routes to Auckland and Sydney is a possibility. The route to Melbourne is still suspended, and there’s no date in sight yet.

At the earliest, LATAM would reactivate the route from March 1, 2022, with three weekly flights using its B787-9 fleet. Then, it could increase to six flights per week by the end of March.

LATAM is very interested in restoring its connectivity to New Zealand and Australia, as it was a unique market. Moreover, the airline also has invested in acquiring slots at these hubs, so it should have a strong incentive to keep on flying these routes.

Nevertheless, many things can still go wrong between today and that date. The airline sources did point out that travel restrictions have to be eased on both sides, and the pandemic has to continue its downwards trajectory before an official announcement can be made.

LATAM Confirms Plans To Relaunch 787 Sydney Flights Via Auckland
LATAM is currently offering 846 flights to international destinations not in Latin America and the Caribbean. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

How’s LATAM international connectivity?

In October 2021, LATAM Airlines Group is offering 846 flights to international destinations not in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The carrier (currently under Chapter 11) has a capacity of 224,206 seats in these routes. LATAM has 19 international routes not to Latin America and the Caribbean, mainly to the US.

A couple of years ago, LATAM offered 1,483 monthly flights, including destinations like Johannesburg (from Sao Paulo) and Sydney. LATAM Airlines Group still has to recover 43% of its pre-pandemic capacity and 17 routes, according to stats by Cirium.

According to its latest projections, the South American carrier expects to recover its international long-haul connectivity by 2024 fully. Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, LATAM has reshaped and resized its long-haul fleet. It has converted quite a few Boeing 767-300ERs into freighters, rejected the leases of its Airbus A350 fleet, and sent some Boeing 787 Dreamliners from Chile to Brazil (to fill the gap left by the exit of the A350).

Would you want to travel onboard LATAM’s Santiago-Auckland-Sydney route? Let us know in the comments below.

Source : Simple Flying More   

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