‘Wizz Air Abu Dhabi’ to launch operations this year - GulfToday

‘Wizz Air Abu Dhabi’ to launch operations this year


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Abu Dhabi Developmental Holding Company (ADDH), announced on Monday that it concluded the definitive agreement with its partner Wizz Air Holdings, Europe’s fastest growing and greenest airline, to jointly establish Wizz Air Abu Dhabi. The low-cost airline is set to launch its operations at Abu Dhabi International Airport in Fall 2020.

The agreement is a major milestone in the launch of Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, a new Emirati low-cost airline based in the UAE’s capital. Wizz Air Abu Dhabi plans to start operations in the second half of the year, bringing low fares paired with a high-quality on-board experience to a range of destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

With Wizz Air Abu Dhabi’s recruitment activities set to commence in the coming months, the agreement will create new job opportunities, boost the economy and attract more visitors to Abu Dhabi. The announcement is also in line with Abu Dhabi’s Dhs50 billion accelerator programme Ghadan 21, which is driving the emirate’s development through investing in business, innovation and people.

Following the agreement, the airline development team has already initiated the process with the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority to obtain the carrier’s Air Operator Certificate and Operating License.

Commenting on the announcement, Mohamed Hassan Al Suwaidi, CEO of ADDH, said, “Tourism is a high priority in Abu Dhabi’s growth strategy. Significant investment is going not only into our airports but also the tourist infrastructure, including hotels, resorts and cultural attractions. Last year the emirate achieved a record high of 11.35 million visitors and a key driver for this is the connectivity that enables people to visit Abu Dhabi easily and affordably. Our partnerships with Wizz Air and others will help elevate the UAE’s capital as a highly competitive regional and international destination for leisure and business travellers alike.”

Jozsef Varadi, CEO of Wizz Air Holdings, said, “Today marks an important milestone on the way to establishing our new airline in Abu Dhabi. The joint venture agreement with Abu Dhabi Developmental Holding Company to form Wizz Air Abu Dhabi underpins our long-term dedication to bringing an economically and operationally highly efficient as well as environmentally most sustainable airline business model to boost Abu Dhabi’s aviation development.”

“Wizz Air’s mission,” Varadi explained, “feeds into Abu Dhabi’s diversified economic strategy as we aim to stimulate traffic by creating demand to the benefit of growing Abu Dhabi’s touristic and economic diversity. We look forward to welcoming passengers on board our young, green and ultra-efficient fleet.”

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.

Abu Dhabi welcomed an estimated 11.35 million international visitors in 2019, inclusive of the 2.83 million overnight and 8.53 million same-day visitors.

The 2019 visitor figures grew 10.5 per cent year-on-year, according to data collated by the Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT) Abu Dhabi, a statement said.

Abu Dhabi’s 168 hotels and hotel apartments hosted 5.1 million guests in 2019 – its highest to date – increasing 2.1 per cent over 2018, while hotel occupancy surged 1.6 per cent to reach 73 per cent.

Average length of stay (ALOS) for 2019 was up 1.8 per cent to 2.6 nights while total revenues posted an increase of 6.6 per cent to reach Dhs5.8 billion.

The average room rate (ARR) went up by 4.7 per cent while revenue per available room (RevPAR) also increased across the year by 6.4 per cent, the statement said. India, China, the United Kingdom and the United States remained the top four non-UAE source markets for hotel guests.

Meanwhile, Russia, Ukraine, South Korea and Bahrain remained the fastest growing markets between 2017 and 2019, the statement said.

“These 2019 results reflect the hard work and dedication that DCT Abu Dhabi, its tourism stakeholders and its partners have put into offering a ‘must-see, must-visit’ leisure and business destination to not only the international visitor, but to domestic guests also,” said Saood Al Hosani, acting under-secretary, DCT Abu Dhabi.

Separately, hotel establishments across Abu Dhabi witnessed solid growth in 2019 registering a 6.8 per cent increase in its revenues which soared to Dh5.83 billion ($1.6 billion) from Dh5.46 billion ($1.48 billion) the previous year,, according to figures revealed by the Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi (SCAD).


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