Etihad Airways and Air Arabia have announced a new agreement to launch Abu Dhabi’s first low-cost carrier, named Air Arabia Abu Dhabi. The carrier will make its inaugural flight on 14 July. It will initially operate to Alexandria and Sohag in Egypt.
The airline is a joint venture between Etihad Airways and Air Arabia. It will be based at Abu Dhabi International Airport and follow Air Arabia’s low-cost model.
Etihad Aviation Group Chief Executive Officer Tony Douglas said: “In these extraordinary times, it gives us great pride to launch Air Arabia Abu Dhabi, the capital’s first low-cost carrier. This joint venture between Etihad and Air Arabia will offer greater convenience and direct access to the UAE’s thriving capital for new markets worldwide, beginning with two key Egyptian routes, and expanding in time. Abu Dhabi has earned itself an exceptional reputation for business and leisure travel alike, and we look forward to seeing the emirate continue to prosper as the current global situation improves and markets begin to reopen.”
Air Arabia Group Chief Executive Officer Adel Al Ali said: “We are delighted to announce the launch of the first flight of Air Arabia Abu Dhabi. While the global aviation sector continues to witness unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19 pandemic, this step is a testament to the strength of the UAE aviation sector and our commitment to its long-term prospects.”
He added: “Egypt is a key travel market and the launch of the first flights reflects our focus on supporting commercial and trade ties between both nations while providing our customers with a new value-for-money option to travel between both countries. Abu Dhabi is a major travel and tourism hub and Air Arabia Abu Dhabi will further serve this vision by positioning Abu Dhabi as a key hub in the region for low-cost travel. We look forward to expanding the Air Arabia Abu Dhabi destination network as more airports open up and flights resume.”
The MENA low-cost air travel model was introduced to the UAE in 2003 with the launch of Air Arabia and has recorded “rapid growth” since then, said the partners.