Wizz Air, emerging Europe’s largest low cost airline, has signed a preliminary agreement with Abu Dhabi Development Holding Company (ADDH) to form a local carrier.
The new airline, known as Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, will operate a fleet of Airbus A321neo aircraft and is the Budapest-based company’s first airline outside of Europe, the carrier said in a statement on December 12. Wizz Air is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is part of the FTSE 250 Index. It flies to over 60 destinations with Budapest Airport serving as the airline’s largest hub.
“We are proud that our first airline to be established outside of Europe is in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE,” said József Váradi, CEO of Wizz Air. “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 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,” he added.
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.
Wizz Air believes that the establishment of a truly ultra-low cost airline in Abu Dhabi can contribute to the continued growth of Abu Dhabi as a world-class cultural and tourist destination.
Bryan Thompson, CEO of Abu Dhabi Airports Company, said: “The launch of the new airline is further testament to the Emirate’s robust aviation infrastructure. In addition to a strong transfer passenger program, Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) has also seen an increase in origin and destination traffic this year—remaining one of the fastest-growing airport hubs in the region. New travel offerings continue to inspire visitors from around the world to come to Abu Dhabi. We welcome the world to Abu Dhabi, and look forward to providing an exceptional passenger experience to even more travellers through this venture.”