Fly Arna To Enter Russia Market, Wizz Air Abu Dhabi Suspends Moscow Relaunch
Armenian startup Fly Arna is launching a new route to Moscow, but Wizz Air Abu Dhabi will not return to the Russian capital as previously planned.
New Armenian flag carrier Fly Arna will make Moscow its third destination in September.
The airline, a joint venture between the Armenian National Interests Fund (ANIF) and Air Arabia Group, began commercial flights in July with the launch of two routes to destinations in Egypt from Yerevan’s Zvartnots International (EVN).
The entry to the Russian market will see the LCC open service between Yerevan and Moscow Domodedovo (DME) from Sept. 23, offering 14 flights per week. The route will operate using Airbus A320 aircraft.
According to OAG Schedules Analyser data, Fly Arna will become the sixth carrier to offer nonstop flights between Yerevan and Russia.
Although many international destinations are closed to Russian airlines because of sanctions imposed following the country’s invasion of Ukraine in February, Armenia is one of 20 nations that is this week accepting flights from Russian carriers.
The two countries have long-standing ties, and the former Soviet republic remains a strategic Russian ally in the South Caucasus region. Armenia also has a visa-free regime in place with Russia.
In the Yerevan-Moscow market, Fly Arna will compete directly with IrAero and Red Wings Airlines, which offer EVN-DME flights 7X-weekly and 14X-weekly respectively.
Aeroflot also serves Yerevan-Moscow Sheremetyevo (SVO) up to 3X-daily, while Armenia Airways and UTair Aviation provide Yerevan-Moscow Vnukovo (VKO) routes 2X-weekly and 11X-weekly respectively.
Meanwhile, Wizz Air Abu Dhabi has suspended plans to resume flights between Abu Dhabi (AUH) and Moscow Vnukovo. The airline announced earlier this month that the route would restart on Oct. 3, operating daily.
However, in a statement the ULCC said it has postponed the flights “until further notice” blaming “industry supply chain limitations.” Wizz had faced mounting criticism on social media for its decision to reinstate flights to the Russian capital.