Hungarian low-cost carrier Wizz Air has announced five new routes connecting Europe with Abu Dhabi, the first of its new UAE subsidiary. The airline is planning to launch services to Budapest and Bucharest from June and Cluj-Napoca, Katowice and Sofia in September.
In March, the company formalised an agreement establishing Wizz Air Abu Dhabi as a local airline. The subsidiary is a partnership between Abu Dhabi-based investment firm ADQ and Wizz Air.
Shareef Al Hashmi, chief executive officer of Abu Dhabi Airports, said: “These new routes positively reflect the industry’s resilience and its capability to continue pushing forward with bold plans that will stimulate consumer demand and the sustained recovery of the aviation market. As our newest landing partner, we welcome Wizz Air and its first routes with open arms as we get set to facilitate the carrier’s exciting Abu Dhabi expansion plans.”
The company initially plans to focus on establishing routes to markets in which Wizz Air has existing, high growth operations, namely Europe. Further down the line, it plans to target the Indian subcontinent, Middle East and Africa.
József Váradi, CEO of Wizz Air Holdings, added: “[This] announcement underpins our long-term dedication to bringing low fares combined with a high-quality onboard experience to ever more customers in Abu Dhabi. I am delighted that our operations at Abu Dhabi International Airport will begin in June, subject to lifting the travel bans, connecting the capital of the United Arab Emirates with five major cities.”
In launching these flights, the Hungarian airline will become the first European low-cost carrier to offer services to Abu Dhabi. The services will also be the first direct routes between the capital of the United Arab Emirates and the five planned destinations.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Wizz Air’s plans are all subject to travel bans being lifted in the countries it intends to fly to. If they are still imposed, the company says passengers will be able to request a full refund or opt for credit to be used on future flights and services.