Repatriation flights continue to operate around the world with some truly unique and irregular routes. Early this morning, we saw some Wizz Air repatriation flights depart from Budapest towards Keflavik in Iceland. However, KEF is merely a technical stop as the two narrowbody Airbus A321s of the Wizz fleet refuel and continue on. In fact, the North American cities of Toronto, Chicago, Miami, New York, and Los Angeles will be the final stops for these jets.
With thousands of travelers stranded all over the world, repatriation flights have been a noteworthy portion of air travel in the last few weeks. Wizz Air is participating in repatriation efforts, flying Canadians and Americans home, out of Hungary, and taking Hungarians on the journey back to Budapest.
📢 URGENT ADVISORY FOR CANADIANS IN 🇭🇺 & 🇸🇮#WizzAir is offering a direct flight from #Budapest Airport to #Toronto 🇨🇦 on March 31 at 08:00 ⚠️ This may be the last available flight for Canadians to return home. Continue with this thread to book you on this flight 1/4
— Canada in Hungary (@CanadaHungary) March 29, 2020
Today two Airbus A321neos are heading across the Atlantic Ocean with a refueling stop at Keflavik Airport in Iceland. Somewhat reminiscent of WOW Air’s routing when it was still in service, the stops are necessary due to the smaller aircraft in operation. The details of the two aircraft are as follows:
- Airbus A321neo with registration HA-LVE has plans to go to Toronto, then carry on to Chicago and Miami. The flight number for this itinerary is WZZ9021.
- Airbus A321neo with registration HA-LVC will go from Keflavik to New York and Los Angeles as flight WZZ9011.
Update WizzAir repatriation flights have departed Budapest heading to KEF for a tech stop.
HA-LVE planned to continue to Toronto ETA 14:00, followed by Chicago & Miami.
HA-LVC planned to continue to New York & Los Angeles.
Track registrations, flight numbers/route may change. https://t.co/8FItpeWEQd pic.twitter.com/ZfcXtOohSJ
— Tom Podolec Aviation (@TomPodolec) March 31, 2020
First time in North America?
Looking at the route map on Wizz Air’s website, we can see for sure that there are no North American destinations offered by the budget carrier. This is somewhat obvious given its location in central Europe. Furthermore, the airline’s narrowbody A320-family fleet limits where it can fly to.
Therefore, this will perhaps be the first and possibly only time the Hungarian airline has its aircraft in these cities. In the eastern hemisphere, however, the airline does fly as far as Morocco, Kazakhstan, and the United Arab Emirates from its Budapest hub.
Unique repatriation flights
During this unprecedented global emergency, we are seeing some truly strange routes being operated by airlines that would normally not fly to such destinations. Other examples include:
- Lufthansa flying from Frankfurt to Auckland via Tokyo: This flight was an effort to repatriate stranded German citizens who were otherwise unable to return to Germany.
- Austrian Airlines flying from Vienna to Sydney. The flight was direct and non-stop on the outbound portion of the trip.
- SWISS is operating its longest flight to date. Flying a Boeing 777 from its Zurich hub to Santiago, Chile.
These are just a few examples of interesting routes being run while airlines work tirelessly wth governments to repatriate stranded citizens.
We reached out to Wizz Air and requested a statement regarding the flights. However, the airline did not respond to us before the time of publication. We will update this article if any new information is received.