Wizz Air Sneaks A320 Out Of Ukraine


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.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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  1. Perhaps would have been better to do all four in a coordinated escape. Now all eyes are on the other three. But we don’t know the circumstances etc.

  2. Does anyone know why Ukraine was holding on to these airliners from a country that is both a NATO member and denounced the invasion?