LEADING INTELLIGENCE PROVIDER SAYS DISRUPTION TO AIR TRAVEL ADDS TURBULENCE TO FRAGILE MOLDOVA BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT

23 March 2023

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE USE

KCSGE WARNS UKRAINE WAR AND TENSIONS WITH RUSSIA ARE GROWING THREAT TO COUNTRY’S STABILITY

London-based KCS Group Europe (KCSGE) warns that the suspension of flights to Moldova by Wizz Air adds to a deteriorating business and economic climate in the country.

The low-cost carrier cited concerns over air security as it announced the move, which became effective this month.

KCS Group Europe’s CEO Stuart Poole-Robb says: “The decision is a further indication of the destabilisation of Moldova, adding volatility to the business environment.

“As tensions with Russia have grown, the pro-West government has suffered energy blackouts this winter, along with an influx of refugees from Ukraine.

“Exports to Russia have dropped by $190m or 1.6% of GDP due to disruption to transport corridors. Increased food and energy prices have raised inflation to over 30%, leaving the government little room to support economic activity.

“Moreover, remittances from Russia, which play a large part in the Moldovan economy, have decreased significantly with the imposition of sanctions.”

It’s believed the level of remittances fell by up to 50% in 2022.

Announcing the move, the airline said: “As a result of recent developments in Moldova and the elevated, but not imminent, risk to the country’s airspace, Wizz Air has taken the difficult but responsible decision to suspend all flights to Chisinau.”

Moldova is one of Europe’s poorest economies and has been heavily exposed to the war in Ukraine.

The Moldovan government says Russia has weaponised energy dependency and is using cyber attacks and campaigns of disinformation to destabilise the country.

Poole-Robb adds: “The risk is that Moldova will have to borrow so much to counter external shocks that little is left to allocate to domestic economic reforms which are vital to EU membership and the future security of the country.”

ENDS