Wizz Air Announces Proposed Establishment Of Wizz Air Abu Dhabi
Wizz Air Holdings Plc (the "Company" or "Wizz Air"), Europe's greenest airline* and the largest low-cost airline in Central and Eastern Europe, announced today that it has reached agreement in principle for the establishment of Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates in partnership with Abu Dhabi Development Holding Company PJSC ("ADDH"). The new airline will be Wizz Air's first airline established outside of Europe.
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 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. 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 the new airline.
The establishment and start of the new airline is subject to, amongst 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 ('AOC').
With a fleet composed of Airbus A321neo aircraft, the world's most efficient narrow body aircraft, Wizz Air Abu Dhabi will gain access to markets with a total of 5 billion customers across Europe and beyond. The new airline's customer proposition will align directly to that of Wizz Air with a singular focus on offering a superior value based quality air travel built on the foundations of one of the world's greenest aircraft fleets*.
Commenting today in Abu Dhabi József Váradi 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 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. I would like to express my greatest gratitude to H.E. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Hamad Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan and Mr. Mohammad Al Suwaidi for their dedication and support, without which this unique partnership would not have been realized."- he added.
H.E. 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."
Mr. 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 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."
Bryan Thompson, CEO of Abu Dhabi Airports Company, commented: "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."
* Wizz Air's carbon-dioxide emissions were the lowest among European airlines in November 2019 (57.2 gr/km/passenger)