MIAMI – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Hungary has announced today it will buy an Airbus A330-200F cargo aircraft. According to AIRrportal.hu, the aircraft will be operated by Hungarian low-cost carrier Wizz Air (W6).
According to the portal’s information, A7-AFF will be the aircraft’s registration, bought from Qatar Airways Cargo (QR).
The news first broke on the government-friendly portal Origo at 15:47 local time. The site published a statement by the Ministry speaking about the importance of the aircraft and politics. The purpose of the plane is to deliver the equipment needed to fight coronavirus.
The purchased A330, however, is not only for the fight against COVID-19. It will be used long-term for “future outbreaks” and “other purposes. ” The government evaluated that the arrival of equipment on time is essential. Hence, the need for a wide-body cargo aircraft.
The Aircraft and Its Registration
A7-AFF performed its first flight on October 31, 2014. Airbus delivered it to QR three weeks later, on November 24. There is no confirmed delivery date. The aircraft has sat in Doha for maintenance since July and has only performed one test flight on August 31.
As mentioned before, W6 will operate the aircraft. The Ministry said that it is important that the aircraft is owned by a commercial operator. “Some countries do not allow military aircraft in, especially in the Far East,” said the Ministry.
It is, therefore, understood that a commercial aircraft would be able to perform tasks a military aircraft could not.
Hungary and Wizz Air
The Government of Hungary and W6 has been strategic partners for a while. Last year, following this cooperation, the airline opened a flight to Kazan (KZN). They also increased frequencies to Târgu Mureș (TGM) in Transylvania to help the Hungarian community living there.
The carrier has also helped the government throughout the pandemic. W6 has operated more than 120 cargo flights between China and the Hungarian capital. This was the first time that the airline operated cargo/humanitarian flights. They have also flown several repatriation flights – including four roundtrips to North America.
The Hungarian Government does not operate any aircraft. It uses Airbus A319 and Falcons from its Air Force.
Featured image: The concept livery of the aircraft. Made by the author, Miklós Budai – @aviationmike.hu.