DALLAS – Europe’s leading low-cost airline, Wizz Air (W6), has been denied a foreign air carrier permit by the DOT to fly to the United States.
Wizz Air had applied for the permit earlier this year with the intention of launching cargo services over the Atlantic course with a high possibility of bringing the passenger segment in due time but it seems like this isn’t happening for the time being.
“The Department seeks a safety recommendation from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as part of our adjudication of foreign air carrier applications for initial exemption and/or permit authority. In this case, the FAA has advised us that it cannot make a determination at this time as to whether the safety oversight of Wizz Air Hungary is sufficient to support the award of economic authority to the applicant,” the regulator said as stated at ch-aviation.
Atlantic Ambition Shot Down
The reasons for the rejection in attaining the permit fall down to safety.
“The FAA has advised us that it cannot make a determination at this time as to whether the safety oversight of Wizz Air Hungary is sufficient to support the award of economic authority to the applicant.”
In its application, W6 had applied to commence cargo services with an Airbus A330-200 Freighter, one that used to fly for Qatar Airways (QR) Cargo and now belongs to the Hungarian Government.
Objection From American Unions
Besides the above, many pilots’ and flight attendant unions from the US (Southwest Airlines Pilots Association [SWAPA], Allied Pilots Association [APA], Independent Pilots Association [IPA] ) are against W6 flying to the United States.
Here’s an example from the ALPA:
In its part, APA noted that “Wizz Air’s application contained neither information on US destinations nor on planned flight frequencies and flight schedules.”
Wizz Air has no ETOPS approval yet, so it brings about another obvious question as to how they plan to fly trans-Atlantic, be it cargo or passenger.
Featured image: Fabrizio Spicuglia/Airways