Friday, 17 March 2017

MOLDOVA: Air Moldova Expands With Another Embraer E190,Wizz Air Opens Presence In Moldova

Air Moldova has taken delivery of another Embraer E190 regional jet. The aircraft with the seating capacity for 140 passengers was ferried to Air Moldova’s base airport in Chisinau on November 20, the carrier announced. In line with the carrier’s strategy the aircraft should enable the airline to launch flights to new destinations. Its first flight will be from Moldovan capital to Rome.

With this aircraft, Air Moldova’s fleet now has three Embraer E190s. The latest addition is the aircraft produced in 2009 and previously operated by Lufthansa and Turkish BoraJet. According to open sources the aircraft is a long-range (LR) modification and has tail number ER-ECD.

Notably, Air Moldova is among the world’s leading operators of ERJ190 by flight hours. In August 2016 it demonstrated the best results in terms of operating rate. The average monthly flight hours increased almost 80% compared to July, to 15.18 flight hours per day.

Air Moldova currently operates seven aircraft. Besides the three Embraer E190LRs the airline flies an Airbus A321, two A320s and one A319. The carrier’s route network features over 25 destinations, including Greece, Turkey, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Ireland, Germany, the Great Britain and Portugal. It two destinations in Russia are St. Petersburg and Moscow, and a route to Krasnodar is expected to open next year.

Last year Air Moldova’s passenger traffic for the first time exceeded 1 million passengers. Suspension of air connection between Russia and Ukraine greatly contributed to the carrier’s traffic growth.

Hungarian low-cost carrier Wizz Air will launch a new base at Chisinau Airport, Moldova, from March 2017. The airline has recently opened a base in Kutaisi, Georgia, and is looking into strengthening its presence in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet republics further on.

The airline announces Chisinau will be its 26th base while Moldova will become the 14th country where Wizz Air performs base operations.

The flights from Chisinau will be operated by a single narrow-body A320. Starting from March 2017 the airline will launch two new twice-weekly services to Berlin Schoenefeld and Barcelona.

Considering these new destinations, Wizz Air’s route network from Chisinau will consist of seven routes to four countries.

The company will also increase frequencies on existing routes to Bologna and Venice from two to three and from three to four weekly flights correspondingly.

Wizz Air plans to invest 98 million dollars in the new Chisinau base and hire 36 people as crew members.

Within the post-Soviet area the Hungarian low-cost company performs base operations from Kutaisi (Georgia), Kyev (Ukraine), Vilnus (Lithuania) and Riga (Latvia).