Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, the venture between the Hungarian low-cost airline and Abu Dhabi state holding company ADQ, will become the UAE's sixth national carrier.
The carrier applied for an air operator's certificate from the UAE's aviation regulator and is carrying out the necessary steps to obtain the required licences and legal procedures to begin operations, the UAE's General Civil Aviation Authority said on Monday.
"The UAE's announcement of this step during the current circumstances the world is facing is evidence of the UAE aviation sector's strength, endurance, flexibility and ability to progress in difficult circumstances, thanks to its developed infrastructure and persevering cadres," Saif Al Suwaidi, director general of the GCAA, said.
“The presence of Wizz Air Abu Dhabi as the sixth national carrier in the country supports the distinguished position of the Emirates as a global hub for air travel,” he said.
The UAE Cabinet took the decision on Wizz Air Abu Dhabi's designation in a online meeting chaired by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, according to state news agency Wam.
"The UAE Cabinet has designated Wizz Air Abu Dhabi as a national carrier, a move that will complement the national aviation sector," Wam reported on Sunday.
Wizz Air Abu Dhabi will become a national airline in the UAE alongside Emirates, Etihad Airways and fellow budget carriers Air Arabia and Flydubai. In addition, Etihad Airways’ low-cost joint venture with Air Arabia obtained its air operator certificate from the UAE regulator but has yet to start operations.
Wizz Air, Eastern Europe’s biggest low-cost airline, will launch a bigger than previously anticipated operation from Abu Dhabi as it seeks a larger share of the budget travel market, Jozsef Varadi, its chief executive, said in June.
Wizz Air Abu Dhabi is scheduled to begin operations this autumn with a fleet of Airbus A321neo aircraft.