New UAE subsidiary of the European low-cost carrier takes delivery of its first aircraft, marking a major step ahead of its October launch
Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, a new carrier in the United Arab Emirates, has celebrated the arrival of its maiden aircraft. The jet is the first of two airframes which the carrier plans to operate on flights from the Middle East to Europe.
The narrowbody, A6-WZB (c/n 9429) was originally ordered for the group’s Hungarian subsidiary but wasn’t taken up. Powered by two Pratt & Whitney PW1000G turbofan engines, the aircraft is setup to seat 239 passengers in a single-class configuration.
Kees Van Schaick, managing director of Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, commented: “Today is another great landmark to celebrate. With the arrival of our first aircraft to Abu Dhabi we have made an important step on our journey towards starting our operations and developing our presence in Abu Dhabi. We contribute to the local economic diversity while offering ever more affordable travel opportunities on our low fare network.”
The airline is joint venture between state-owned Abu Dhabi Developmental Holding Company and Wizz Air Holdings. The operator recently received national carrier status from the UAE government, subject to meeting regulatory standards prior to beginning services.
The firm expects to take delivery of a second A321neo during the first six months of operations. Wizz Air says the type delivers a 20% fuel saving and nearly 50% noise reduction, when compared with previous generation aircraft.
Mohammed Husain Ahmed, general manager of Abu Dhabi International Airport, added: “We are delighted to welcome Wizz Air Abu Dhabi’s first aircraft to their new home base at Abu Dhabi International Airport. The establishment of [the airline] its commencement of operations is a milestone in the growth and development of the LCC market in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.”
Wizz Air Abu Dhabi expects to start its operations from October 1 this year with an initial route network of six destinations including Alexandria, Athens, Kutaisi, Larnaca, Odesa and Yerevan.