(CNN) — As its invasion of Ukraine ticks in direction of its sixth month, Russia stays remoted from the worldwide group. International manufacturers are nonetheless boycotting the nation, whereas airways and nations are imposing flight bans and sanctions.
But one airline has determined to begin a route again up to Russia, in response to what it says is passenger demand.
Wizz Air Abu Dhabi has introduced it can recommence flights from Abu Dhabi to Moscow, with tickets now on sale from October 3.
Founded in December 2019, the corporate is an Emirati subsidiary of Wizz Air, one among Europe’s fastest-growing funds airways, which is primarily based in Hungary. Wizz Air owns a 49% stake, with the bulk 51% going to state-owned ADQ. Wizz has one different subsidiary, Wizz Air UK, which was initially arrange to mitigate issues deriving from Brexit.
A spokesperson for Wizz Air mentioned in a press release:
“Wizz Air Abu Dhabi is a national UAE carrier that operates in line with the UAE’s national regulations and policies. The airline is resuming its operation to Moscow to meet travel demand for passengers wishing to fly to and from Russia from the UAE capital. All UAE national airlines are currently operating direct flights to Russia.”
It added: “Wizz Air Hungary and Wizz Air UK are not currently operating flights to Russia.” Flights to Russia from the UK and EU are at the moment banned.
Etihad, Emirates and FlyDubai are among the many airways working to Russia from the UAE. Wizz had initially launched the route in December 2021, earlier than suspending it when Russia invaded Ukraine.
Whether passengers will perceive the distinction between the airways has but to be seen, nevertheless. Mark Borkowski, a disaster PR guide, informed CNN that it might go incorrect for the airline — and he mentioned that Wizz’s rivals can be watching intently.
“We now begin to see a number of brands beginning to check their resolve, and as events drag on the virtue-signaling will give way to commercial intent,” he mentioned.
“I expect this decision will be viewed with great interest. It could be a disaster — however the bigger issue is fatigue. Certain commercial interests will prevail. Nevertheless it’s a risky move that could turn into a profound PR own goal.”