News: Wizz Air eyes Middle East expansion with Abu Dhabi base

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Wizz Air has reached agreement in principle for the establishment of Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, in partnership with Abu Dhabi Development Holding Company.

The new venture will be Wizz Air’s first airline established outside of Europe and is likely to compete with the recently announced low-cost offering from flag-carrier Etihad Airways and Air Arabia.

It is intended that Wizz Air Abu Dhabi will be formed via a joint venture, 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, eastern and western Europe, as well as the Indian subcontinent, Middle East and Africa over the long run.

Wizz Air believes that the establishment of a low-cost airline in Abu Dhabi can contribute to the continued growth of Abu Dhabi as a world-class cultural and tourist destination.

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The establishment and start of the new airline is subject to, among other things, agreement and entry into force of definitive documentation with ADDH, the receipt of all necessary internal and external approvals and consents, and the new airline satisfying all regulatory requirements of the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority to obtain an Air Operator’s Certificate.

Commenting today in Abu Dhabi, József Váradi chief executive 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.”

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.”

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