Wizz Air Abu Dhabi launch pushed back due to pandemic-related travel restrictions

The UAE's sixth airline has postponed commencement of operations until November 15

R46MMB Luton/England - October 11, 2018: View from Wizz Air plane during flight on sunny day.
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Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, a joint venture between the Hungarian budget airline and Abu Dhabi state holding company ADQ, has delayed its launch date for the second time due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The low-cost airline, which was due to begin flying from the UAE capital on October 1, has postponed the start date for its first flight to November 15, it confirmed to The National on Sunday.

The airline has continued to delay its maiden flight due to travel restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic, such as closed borders or quarantines in markets where flights are scheduled to operate, it said.

Wizz Air Abu Dhabi was scheduled to begin operations on October 16, which was pushed back from its initial start date of October 1, due to the pandemic.

Passengers who are affected by the delay in operations will automatically be credited with 120 per cent of their original fare amount on their Wizz account.

Travellers who do not wish to rebook their flight or use the Wizz Air credit, can apply instead for a refund, and will be given 100 per cent of their fare value back through the original method of payment used.

Customers who booked through a travel agency or an online travel booking platform will need to contact those vendors directly for rebooking or refunds.

Wizz Air Abu Dhabi took delivery of its first Airbus A321 Neo at Abu Dhabi International Airport earlier this month.

The airline will become the UAE's sixth carrier after Air Arabia Abu Dhabi, a joint venture between Sharjah-based Air Arabia and Etihad Airways that began operations in July.

Global airlines are calling for Covid-19 testing before departure on international flights as an alternative to government-imposed travel restrictions such as quarantines, which the industry says is denting air travel demand.

Tests that are fast, highly accurate, affordable and easy to administer are expected to be available in October and should be adopted by governments as a globally-accepted standard, the International Air Transport Association (Iata) said last week.