Montpellier Airport

HiSky finally launches from Moldova; currently offering 12 scheduled routes from Chisinau and three airports in Romania using 3 Airbus

 

HiSky AirlineHiSky (IATA code H4) finally operated its first commercial flight on 5 March 2021 between Chisinau in Moldova and Hurghada in Egypt. The airline had been hoping to start flights last year but this was repeatedly delayed due to the pandemic. HiSky, not to be confused with Hi Fly (IATA code 5K) the Portuguese charter airline, has operating certificates in Moldova and neighbouring Romania. As a result, the airline’s website shows it planning to operate flights from Chisinau as well as Cluj-Napoca, Iasi and Satu Mare in Romania. The airline’s CEO is Iulian Scorpan who was formerly CEO of Air Moldova.

 

12 routes currently available to book

The airline currently has three aircraft; two 180-seat A320s (YR-BEE and YR-SKY) and one 144-seat A319 (ER-SKY, formerly with South African Airways). According to flightradar24.com none of the aircraft are being used that intensively just yet.

Based on analysis of the airline’s website on Sunday 16 May, the following 12 routes were available to book:

Chisinau – Dublin: launching 2 June, 2-weekly
(Wednesdays and Saturdays)

Chisinau – Frankfurt FRA: launching 5 June, 2-weekly
(Mondays and Saturdays)


Chisinau – Istanbul:
launched 30 April, 2-weekly
(Mondays and Fridays)


Chisinau – Lisbon:
launching 3 June, weekly
(Thursdays)


Chisinau – Moscow DME:
launching 1 June, daily


Chisinau – Paris BVA:
launched 9 May, 2-weekly
(Wednesdays and Sundays)


Chisinau – St. Petersburg:
launching 10 June, 2-weekly
(Thursdays and Sundays)

Athens International Airport


Cluj-Napoca – Dublin:
launching 3 June, 2-weekly
(Mondays and Thursdays)


Cluj-Napoca – Lisbon:
launched 28 April, 2-weekly
(operating Wednesdays and Sundays)


Satu Mare – Frankfurt FRA:
launching 5 June, 2-weekly
(Mondays and Saturdays)


Satu Mare – Paris BVA:
launched 28 April, 2-weekly
(Wednesdays and Sundays)


Iasi – Dublin:
launched 29 April, 2-weekly
(operating Mondays and Thursdays)

Given the uncertainty around European travel restrictions, some of these start dates may yet slip into later months. Although not currently bookable from any airport, London STN and Tel Aviv are both listed in the airline’s on-line booking tool. When the airline was due to launch last year its route network from Chisinau also included Bologna and Düsseldorf, neither of which currently feature in the airline’s plans.

Looking at the seven cities that HiSky plans to serve from Chisinau this summer, all of them are also likely to be served by both Air Moldova and FlyOne, though not always using the same airport at the destination. In addition, Aeroflot and S7 Airlines will compete for passengers on the Moscow route, Lufthansa will compete on the Frankfurt route, Turkish Airlines on the Istanbul route, and Wizz Air on the Paris route.

HiSky Airlines from Chisinau

Industry wisdom suggests that given the likely market size of these routes (even before the pandemic), the chances of three, four or even five carriers (on the Moscow route) being profitable is unlikely at best. It will be interesting to look at these markets next summer.

Charter flights to Egypt

Analysis of operations data on flightradar24.com for the airline’s three aircraft shows the aircraft operating a number of charter services in recent weeks, notably between Cluj-Napoca and Hurghada, and between Suceava and Hurghada. It seems likely that charter flights will continue to be a key part of the airline’s operations.

Geneva Airport Spring 2024