iStock/to_csaby Kudakwashe Muzoriwa
Abu Dhabi Developmental Holding Company (ADDH) has signed an agreement in principle with Budapest-based Wizz Air Holdings to launch an airline in Abu Dhabi, Wizz Air’s first airline established outside of Europe.
In a bourse filing, Wizz Air said that the intended low-cost airline will be formed through a joint venture called Wizz Air Abu Dhabi and operations are expected to launch in the second half of 2020.
József Váradi, the 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, this is a new path of growth for Wizz Air, built on our successful ultra-low-cost business model, bringing affordable travel to even more customers.”
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.
Mohamed Hassan Al Suwaidi, the CEO of ADDH, said, “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.”
London-listed 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.
Wizz Air Abu Dhabi will face competition from Air Arabia Abu Dhabi which is due to begin operations from the second quarter of 2020.
In October 2019, SpiceJet signed an agreement with Ras Al Khaimah International Airport with plans to launch Delhi-Ras Al Khaimah flights in December 2019, the airline’s first overseas hub. The Indian low-cost carrier is yet to finalise plans as it awaits the mandatory regulatory approvals.