Hungarian budget carrier Wizz Air has repatriated one of four A320s stranded in Ukraine in what looks like an off-the-books dash to Poland. The airline has confirmed the flight, which operated from Lviv, about 40 miles from the Polish border to Katowice, about 200 miles inside Poland, but offered few details on how they pulled it off. “Wizz Air confirms that, following an in-depth risk assessment and thorough preparation, its one aircraft based in Lviv departed from Danylo Halytskyi International Airport and successfully landed in Katowice on 13 Sep 2022,” the airline told BusinessInsider.
Based on tracking data from FlightRadar24, it appears the plane took off in the late afternoon with the transponder off and climbed to 10,000 feet before hitting the border and lighting everything up for the balance of the trip. The plane was based in Lviv before Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24 and had been trapped there ever since because Ukraine has closed its airspace to most civilian flights. Wizz has three more A320s grounded in Kyiv but that’s 500 miles from Poland. The airline has said in the past that it intends to fly those planes out too but didn’t comment on how it will do so.