DUBAI (Reuters) – European budget carrier Wizz Air said on Friday it had postponed the resumption of flights between Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates and the Russian capital, Moscow, until further notice, citing “industry supply chain limitations”.
The airline earlier this month announced Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, its joint venture with an Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund, would resume flights between the two cities in October.
It was not immediately clear what limitations Wizz Air was referring to in its statement that the route’s re-launch had been put on hold. Airlines around the world are facing labour shortages after mass lay-offs during the pandemic.
Western sanctions imposed on Moscow after it attacked Ukraine have limited the availability of spare parts in Russia, while globally there are delays in shipping goods in part due to persistent pandemic-related supply chain disruptions.
Wizz Air had suspended all fights to and from Russia on Feb. 27 after Russia invaded Ukraine. London-listed Wizz Air holds a 49% stake in the joint venture. State fund ADQ owns 51%.
Wizz Air Abu Dhabi is registered as a UAE carrier. Wizz Air also has air operator certificates (AOC) in Britain and Hungary.
European carriers have ceased operating flights to Russia while Russian airlines are banned from European Union airspace as part of Western sanctions on Moscow in response to the war.
The UAE has not imposed sanctions on Russia and instead said it sought to maintain a neutral position on the war. Emirati carriers are among the foreign airlines still operating Russian flights.
(Writing by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Tomasz Janowski)