Airline Startup Of The Week: HiSky in Moldova

A brand new Moldovan airline is set to enter our skies in a few month’s time. Championing the low-cost market, HiSky says that it aims to work on the “Western culture example” and offer services to popular European destinations. Let’s take a look at what’s to come.

HiSky will get its aircraft from a Romanian charter company. Photo: Pedro Aragão via Wikimedia Commons

Aviation in Moldova

When it comes to aviation, the Republic of Moldova is not one of the first places we think of. It might not even be the hundredth place we think of. Nevertheless, the Eastern European country is looking to change that.

Currently, there are just two local airlines that operate from Moldova. They are Air Moldova, the national carrier, and FlyOne which boasts twelve destinations operated by five aircraft and codeshares with Utair. However, in April this year that’s all set to change.

Air Moldova
Air Moldova is the national carrier. Will HiSky be more popular? Photo: Anna Zvereva via Wikimedia Commons

A brand new airline will be starting up in Moldova with flights operating from 10th April 2020. The air carrier, named HiSky, is hitting the low-cost market and will be based out of the capital city in Chișinău International Airport. The airline says that it will initially specialize in local and regional markets.

Where will HiSky fly?

HiSky has already got its eyes on some popular European destinations. Whilst Moldova shares borders with Ukraine and Romania, it’s not interested in Eastern Europe. It wants to fly further afield.

In fact, the shortest flight it will operate is between Chișinău and Bologna in Italy with a distance of around 746nmi (1,382km). Other than that, it has another five destinations on its radar:

  • Dusseldorf, Germany
  • Paris, France
  • London, UK
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • Lisbon, Portugal.

With those cities in its network, it will be a low-cost airline operating in the medium-haul market.

map - KIV-BLQ
Moldova to Bologna, Italy will be the shortest flight. Photo: Great Circle Mapper

Leading by example

HiSky already has high ambitions for itself. Not only for its route network but also for its whole operation. According to its General Director, the airline will be taking tips from Western aviation which it regards highly. On its website, Mr. Iulian Scorpan claims:

“The company aims to import and to implement, here, in Moldova, on the Western culture example, the best approach of service related to the aviation field. We intend to develop constantly, taking into consideration of course the needs of our passengers related to the most popular destinations, new attractive offers, etc.”

In order to deliver on that promise, HiSky has some unique offerings.

What will it be like to fly HiSky?

Whilst it’s unclear how many, HiSky will use the Airbus A320 to conduct its operations. These aircraft will come from Cobrex Trans which is a Romanian charter airline that currently operates a single Boeing 737-300. The aircraft will have a seating capacity of 180.

A320 at Berlin Air Show
HiSky will use A320 aircraft with 180 seats. Photo: Julian Herzog via Wikimedia Commons

Although HiSky is aiming for the low-cost market, it will be generous. HiSky says that all its passengers will receive free drinks and a snack. That’s not something we often see from LCCs who make up their profits from selling add ons. But we’re not complaining!

Passengers will also be able to take a hand luggage allowance of 8kg in a bag with the dimensions 40x30x20cm. Like other carriers, HiSky has also opted for tiered pricing plans. It offers four different packages which give passengers the ability to take extra hand luggage for a fee.

What can we expect from HiSky?

This is an exciting venture for Moldovan aviation but how will the airline fare? Well, we think it might have a pretty good chance. For starters, the aviation market in Moldova is small. That means there’s a lot of room for growth when it comes to new destinations.

HiSky will be serving some routes that the national carrier Air Moldova does not. For example, Air Moldova no longer flies into Charles de Gaulle Airport as it once did. Whilst FlyOne does operate in Charles de Gaulle Airport, HiSky is a good competition for other reasons.

FlyOne also offers low-cost flights, but since its inception in 2016, it’s grown relatively slowly. In fact, it still operates charter flights and its current commercial schedule operates in just seven cities. From the get-go, HiSky will be offering nearly as many destinations.

Old Orhei, Moldova
HiSky has a great opportunity to improve tourism in the country. Photo: Getty Images

In addition, HiSky has a great opportunity to increase tourism in the country. The majority of tourists to Moldova come from the neighboring countries of Romania, Russia, and Ukraine. This could be a chance to show Western Europe some of the beauty in Moldova.

What’s more, it has a positive attitude. Of course, when it comes to business, a good mindset is not everything. However, it certainly helps, and we can’t help but share HiSky’s enthusiasm.

Do you share it too? Let us know how you think HiSky will fare when it starts services in April 2020.