Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, a joint venture between the Hungarian budget airline and Abu Dhabi state holding company ADQ, will begin operations on January 15 from the UAE capital.
The low-cost airline's inaugural flight will be to the Greek capital Athens with fares starting from Dh129, it said in a statement on Tuesday. The airline will also operate flights to Thessaloniki starting on 4 February.
"From 15 January 2021, a new model of air travel comes to Abu Dhabi, offering new choices and new competition, demonstrating that things are looking up for next year," Kees Van Schaick, managing director of Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, said.
Wizz Air Abu Dhabi 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. The Wizz Air joint venture’s operations launched after Abu Dhabi eased travel restrictions and announced it will welcome international visitors starting December 24.
Travellers arriving from 16 “green” countries will not be required to quarantine upon arrival in Abu Dhabi. Instead, they must take a PCR test when they land and self-isolate until they receive a negative result. Follow-up PCR tests are then required on the sixth and 12th days after arriving in Abu Dhabi.
"Our network from Abu Dhabi will expand rapidly as destinations on our planned network are added to the ‘green countries’ list," said Mr Van Schaick. "We are fully prepared. We have the aircraft, we have the crew, we have the partners, and we are ready to fly."
The airline's initial route network includes Alexandria in Egypt, Kutaisi in Georgia, Larnaca on the southern coast of Cyprus, the Black Sea port city of Odesa in Ukraine and Armenia's capital, Yerevan.
Flights to these cities will start as each destination joins the "green countries" list, the airline said. Further destinations will be launched as the airline adds to its Abu Dhabi-based fleet over the coming months.
The airline operates a fleet of two Airbus A321neo narrow-body jets. It took delivery of its first A321neo at Abu Dhabi International Airport in September. The airline will add more A321 Neo aircraft to its fleet in the first six months of operations as it connects the UAE capital with cities in Europe and beyond.
The airline's launch comes amid tough times for the aviation industry during the Covid-19 pandemic that has devastated air travel demand, forcing many carriers to seek government aid, slash costs and cut jobs.
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