WeGo Air aims to be a new leisure carrier based near Moscow – but with Dutch and Baltic capital, sources suggest.
While some airlines are struggling or declaring bankruptcy, others are being launched to capitalise on growing markets. A new airline will start operations in Russia in 2019, reportedly backed by Russian and Lithuanian capital.
WeGo Air is destined to become the base carrier at Zhukovsky Airport near Moscow, a former military airfield and test site which has the second longest runway in the world at 5402 metres, second only to Qamdo Bamba Airport in eastern Tibet.
Opening as an international airport in 2016, Zhukovsky currently has only ten scheduled routes offered by five airlines, with another four carriers offering seasonal flights including the Lufthansa-Turkish Airlines venture SunExpress flying to Antalya.
WeGo Air is due to start operations there in April, initially with charter flights from the Moscow gateway to southern Russia, Tunisia and destinations in Europe, using four Airbus A320s.
The new venture is backed by Ramport Aero, Zhukovsky’s operating company, and Lithuania’s Avia Solutions Group, according to sources cited by Russian Aviation Insider.
The evidence to support this is that WeGo Air’s Moscow address is shared by the Lithuanian company’s Russian office, while its maintenance will be outsourced to Avia’s Lithuania-based MRO subsidiary FL Technics.
Sources also suggest the new airline may be launched as a subsidiary of Riga-based leisure carrier SmartLynx Airlines, as its wegoair.ru domain is registered to a Latvian parent. SmartLynx is owned by a Dutch-registered company that is closely allied with Avia Solutions Group.
WeGo, incidentally, is not a new name to commercial aviation. WeGo Airways is a virtual airline that was established in the UK in 2015.