Competition of the lowest fare airline is about to begin in UAE as Wizz Air Abu Dhabi – was announced on Thursday after a deal was reached between Abu Dhabi Developmental Holding Company (ADDH) and Wizz Air Holdings – central and eastern Europe’s largest low-cost airline company. The new airline will offer competition to Etihad and the recently announced low-cost airline, Air Arabia.
Wizz Air is expected to start operations with a fleet of Airbus A321neo aircraft in the second half of 2020, with planned routes set to cover all of Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Indian subcontinent with a total potential reach of 5 billion passengers.
“As Abu Dhabi International Airport continues its growth as a major gateway to the UAE and the wider region, we welcome contribution airlines, such as this new airline, and the impact this partnership will make to our continued national economic development,” said Shaikh Mohammad Bin Hamad Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Airports, commenting on the new agreement.
We are proud to join @wizzair today in announcing a new airline that will be Wizz Air’s first established outside of Europe, with operations expected to launch in Abu Dhabi in the second half of 2020. Congratulations, and welcome to Abu Dhabi!#AbuDhabiAirports #ADAC #WizzAir pic.twitter.com/dYyJdFD1cA
— Abu Dhabi Airport (@AUH) December 12, 2019
“Wizz Air Abu Dhabi will be an incremental path of growth for Wizz Air, built on our successful ultra-low-cost business model, bringing affordable travel to ever more customers. We believe the new airline has the potential to be a significant player in the region,” said Wizz Air’s Chief Executive Officer, József Váradi.
The airline is the largest low-cost carrier servicing in Central and Eastern Europe. Wizz Air Abu Dhabi estimates that the reach of the A321neo aircraft opens up a potential target market of 5 billion passengers, though the total population of Abu Dhabi is 1.2 million and the total population of the UAE is 9.8 million.
Jozsef Varadi, chief executive officer of Wizz Air Holdings said: “We are proud that our first airline to be established outside of Europe is in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE. ADDH’s deep-rooted knowledge of the local market, support and navigation in a new market for WIZZ is invaluable and will boost the successful development of this low-cost airline.”
Wizz Air said the new airline would have an initial capital requirement of about $50 million and would use Airbus A320neo, A321neo and A321XLR planes Wizz already has on order.
Previously, Etihad Airways and Air Arabia announced a joint venture called Air Arabia Abu Dhabi on October 16, 2019 to start operations Abu Dhabi soon. Air Arabia was the first low-cost airline to be introduced in the MENA region when it launched out of Sharjah International Airport in 2003.
In total, the UAE will have at least four low-cost carriers in operation next year adding to the two already existing ones in operation with flydubai and Air Arabia.
With the new and previously non-existent trend of low cost, budget-friendly airlines will give UAE residents and visitors more economical options as the competition in this aviation sector increases.