December 18, 2019: Abu Dhabi Developmental Holding Company (ADDH) has reached an agreement in principle for establishing a local airline in Abu Dhabi in partnership with Wizz Air Holdings Europe’s greenest airline and the largest low-cost airline in Central and Eastern Europe. The new airline will be Wizz Air’s first airline to be established outside Europe.
It is proposed that the low-cost airline will be formed via a joint venture with Wizz Air, and operations are expected to launch in the second half of 2020. The airline will focus on establishing routes to markets in which Wizz Air has existing, high growth operations, namely Central and Eastern and Western Europe, as well as the Indian subcontinent, Middle East and Africa, over the long run.
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Hamad Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, chairman of Abu Dhabi Airports, commented, “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. We look forward to building a highly successful partnership with them in the years to come.”
With a fleet comprising A321neo aircraft, the new airline will gain access to markets with a total of 5 billion customers across Europe and beyond.
Mohamed Hassan Al Suwaidi, CEO of ADDH said: “As a trusted government partner with a clear mandate to boost key sectors of Abu Dhabi’s non-oil economy, we are proud to partner with Wizz Air, an airline with a strong market presence and brand recognition in key European source markets. Through our partnership with Wizz Air, we aim to capitalise on the growing demand for budget travel and support the continued growth of Abu Dhabi as a world-class cultural and tourist destination.”
We're proud to share the news that we've reached agreement in principle for the establishment of Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates in partnership with Abu Dhabi Development Holding Company PJSC. The new airline will be Wizz Air’s 1st airline established outside of Europe. pic.twitter.com/65buOHlW1n— Wizz Air (@wizzair) December 13, 2019
The airline’s customer proposition will align directly to that of Wizz Air with a singular focus on offering superior value-based quality on air travel built with the foundation of one of the world’s greenest aircraft fleets.
Jozsef Varadi, CEO of Wizz Air Holdings stated, “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.”
On the other hand, Abu Dhabi Airports has welcomed Jazeera Airways new services from Kuwait International Airport (KWI) to Al Ain International Airport (AAN). Jazeera Airways will operate three flights a week using A320 and latest A320neo aircraft on the new route.
Meanwhile, ADDH will invest €100 million (Dh409m) in Europe's third-largest tour operator FTI Group as part of a partnership to boost tourism to the UAE capital. The two parties will work together to increase the number of visitors from key European markets such as the UK, France and Germany to Abu Dhabi, the companies said in a statement.