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Wizz Air suspends Moldova flights over security fears

Wizz Air suspends Moldova flights over security fears

Wizz Air has confirmed it will suspend all flights to and from Moldova due to safety concerns.

The announcement comes after a Russian missile was fired over Moldovan airspace earlier this month.

In a statement, the Hungarian budget airline said: “Safety of the passengers and crew remain Wizz Air’s number one priority.

“Following the recent developments in Moldova and the elevated, but not imminent, risk in the country’s airspace, Wizz Air has made the difficult but responsible decision to suspend all flights to [the capital] Chișinău from 14 March.”

Moldova’s civil aviation authority described the move as sudden and regrettable, claiming in a statement that flights “which respect a number of procedures could be carried out safely”.

Located between Romania and Ukraine, the eastern European country and former Soviet republic has been heavily impacted by Russia’s war against Ukraine.

The pro-European republic of 2.6 million people has reported “attempts at destabilisation” in recent weeks.

The territory has been hit by debris from the neighbouring war several times, struggled with an influx of Ukrainian refugees and suffered energy blackouts.

Moldova is also home to Transnistria, a breakaway pro-Moscow region, where 1,500 Russian soldiers are stationed.

In recent weeks, Moldova’s President, Maia Sandu, outlined a plot by Moscow to use external saboteurs to overthrow the country’s government, put the nation “at the disposal of Russia” and derail its aspirations to one day join the European Union.

Her comments follow those made by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which he claimed his country had intercepted plans by Russian secret services to destroy Moldova, claims that were later confirmed by Moldovan intelligence officials.

Wizz Air is the first airline to confirm a suspension of flights to Moldova.

Turkish Airlines, Air Moldova and the Romanian national airline, Tarom, continue to fly to the Moldovan capital.

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