Moldovan start-up budget carrier HiSky set to enter a small, crowded market

The new privately owned low-cost carrier is launching in April with the support of Romania’s Cobrex Trans

HiSky HiSky promises to "combine low-cost principles with Western culture"

With its Airline Operator’s Certificate (AOC) pending, Moldovan start-up low-cost carrier (LCC) HiSky is to launch operations from April 10, offering direct scheduled low-frequency services from the nation’s Chisinau capital to six destinations in Europe: London Stansted, Dublin, Lisbon, Paris Beauvais, Bologna and Dusseldorf.

But HiSky enters the market in challenging times. In 2019, the passenger traffic of Moldovan airlines decreased by 3.2 per cent, to 1.58 million passengers, according to the data of the National Bureau of Statistics of Moldova.

Also, on all of its announced routes, except Dusseldorf, the airline is entering a head-on competitive clash with veteran carrier Air Moldova, young local LCC FlyOne and the mighty Hungarian budget airline WizzAir, which has three aircraft based at Chisinau. However, the newcomer that is headed by former Air Moldova general director Iulian Scorpan, claims to have specific competitive advantages for passengers, with its combination of local market knowledge allied to low fares. “The price policy combines low-cost principles with a wide range of additional services charged in a transparent manner, so that the passengers are aware of the price and charges they pay for,” HiSky says in a statement, explaining that its offering comes in four service options of basic, classic, premium and premium plus.

The company aims to “import and implement here, in Moldova, the western culture example, which is the best approach to service in commercial aviation. We intend to develop constantly, taking into consideration of course the needs of our passengers related to the most popular destinations and new attractive offers,” general director Scorpan advises.

HiSky’s flights will be operated by two Airbus A320s and come with the added support of Romania’s Cobrex Trans, a choice of partner which may be attributable to the fact that, with the exception of Air Moldova, FlyOne and freight specialist Aerotranscargo, Moldova’s airlines are currently on EU’s black list, and the fact that Iulian Scorpan and his deputy Victor Sula, also a former Air Moldova executive, have prior experience in dealing with the Romanian company. “It’s not the first time we have collaborated with the team that today is in charge of HiSky. That’s why we have created a partnership based on mutual trust,” reveals Mihaela Apavaloaie, the commercial director of Brasov-based Cobre Trans.

“Our primary interest is to offer a high level of service at prices usually offered by low-cost companies. We want our passengers to feel safe and comfortable when travelling with us. I also consider that our collaboration with the HiSky team will be fruitful for both companies, and what is really important are the passengers and services offered to them,” she concludes.

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