Wizz Air, one of Europe’s fastest growing airlines and the leasing LCC in central and eastern Europe announced that it will begin a new service between Doncaster Sheffield Airport and Chisinau, the capital of Moldova.
Flights will begin on 20 December and will operate on Mondays and Fridays. The announcement by the airline means that it now offers 14 low-fare routes from Doncaster Sheffield Airport to Poland, Romania, Lithuania, Latvia and Hungary.
Owain Jones, MD of Wizz Air Uk said: “Wizz Air began operations at Doncaster Sheffield Airport in 2006, and since then we have been giving the South Yorkshire region the opportunity to travel to a variety of fascinating destinations onboard one of the youngest and greenest fleets in the sky. Doncaster Sheffield is a great airport to start your journey to Chisinau, before boarding one of our ultra-efficient aircraft and taking to the skies.
“Moldova is one of Europe’s undiscovered gems, making it ripe for exploring. Fans of brutalist architecture in particular will love visiting Chisinau, where there are some great examples of grandiose buildings. Not forgetting the delicious wine for which Moldova is famous for.”
On Wednesday July 17, the European Union for Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) alerted airlines operating A321neos that there is potential for an ‘excessive pitch’ anomaly. Airbus is introducing a revision to its A321neo flight manuals that would prevent the aircraft from reaching excessive pitch altitudes. A similar issue was the focus of 737 MAX crisis, which led Boeing to install the MCAS software.
Flightglobal reports that EASA has ordered A321neo operators to amend their flight manuals, within 30 days or when the alert was issued. The order encompass both the CFM International Leap-1A as well as Pratt & Whitney PW1100G versions of the aircraft. At this time it is unknown if a software modification will be required for the A321neo.
Iceland’s LCC WOW air might well be back in operation, but with a slightly revised look. Two former executives from the airline along with an investment fund related to Ryanair plan to launch a new LCC on the foundations of the former defunct WOW brand, with the working title WAB, which stands for ‘We Are Back’, according to reports in the Icelandic press.
The new budget airline, WAB is expected to commence operations at the end of the year. Initially, the startup will operate six aircraft on 14 destinations across Europe and the US. Founders of the new airline expect to carry around one million passengers by 2020, generating revenues of around US$159 million. The plans which were released to the media, also include the hiring of 500 staff in the first year of operations. The airline has already applied for an operating licence.
The fallout from the grounding of Boeing’s 737 MAX is impacting Ryanair’s future capacity plans, forcing the LCC to reassess its passenger growth outlook for the next financial year. In an update for investors, this week, the airline said it had cut its summer 2020 growth rate from 7% to 3% because its fleet will contain 28 fewer MAX 200s than predicted. The airline intended to have 58 of the type in service by the summer next year, but since the MAX 8 and 9 remain grounded it now expects to receive up to 30 MAX 200s by the end of May 2020.
“This shortfall in aircraft will require some base cuts and closures for summer 2020, but also for the winter 2019 schedule,” said Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’Leary. As a result, the airline group trimmed its traffic forecast for the financial year ending March 31, 2021 to 157 million passengers. This was down from an earlier forecast of 162 million.
The airline placed orders for 135 MAX 200s and reserved options for an additional 75. Its MAX 200s are fitted in a 197-seat configuration, eight more than the standard 189 within its existing fleet. The first example was due to be delivered in April.
O’Leary noted that: “Boeing is hoping that a certification package will be submitted to regulators by September with a return to service shortly thereafter.
“We believe it would be prudent to plan for that date to slip by some months, possibly as late as December. As Ryanair have ordered the Boeing MAX 200s, which are a variant of the MAX aircraft, these need to be separately certified by the FAA and EASA. Ryanair expects that the MAX 200 will be approved for flight services within two months of the MAX return to service.”