In a stealth mission, WizzAir successfully repatriated one of its four Airbus passenger jets trapped in Ukraine.
WizzAir Airbus A320 Rescued From Ukraine In Covert Operation
Flying at just 10,000 feet with its transponder off, a WizzAir Airbus A320 flew from Lviv, Ukraine (LWO) just over the Polish border to Katowice (KTW) on Tuesday.
An A320 from Wizz Air that has been on ground in Lviv, Ukraine since 23 of February 2022 was flown to Katowice in Poland, on Tuesday.
— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) September 15, 2022
Via Business Insider, WizzAir confirmed it had removed its Airbus from Lviv after an “in-depth risk assessment.”
Due to instability in the area as Russian and Ukrainian forces exchange gunfire, the airspace over Ukraine has largely been closed off to commercial jets for seven months. It has been suggested that the aircraft flew at such a low level to evade radar and anti-aircraft missiles.
WizzAir still has three Airbus jets trapped in Ukraine, all in Kyiv (KBP). It is not clear, especially after the publicity its first mission drew, will try similar measures for its other three aircraft, which are also a farther distance from Poland or another safe country than in Lviv.
WizzAir drew controversy last month after announcing its intention to restart service between its Abu Dhabi hub and Moscow. The carrier backpedaled, later blaming “supply chain” issues, though clearly, its move was more a response to the backlash it received.
There are over 100 foreign aircraft currently trapped in Ukraine and Russia, with airspace over Ukraine still closed to commercial traffic. The success of WizzAir’s first mission may embolden it and others to more aggressively take steps to remove its aircraft from the war zone.