Etihad Aviation Group and Sharjah-based Air Arabia have joined forces to launch ‘Air Arabia Abu Dhabi’, the emirate’s first ever low-cost carrier.
Etihad and Air Arabia will establish an independent joint venture company that will operate as a low-cost passenger airline with its hub in Abu Dhabi International Airport. The new carrier will complement Etihad Airways’ services from Abu Dhabi and will cater to the growing low-cost travel market segment in the region.
Group CEO, Etihad Aviation Group, Tony Douglas spoke on the major announcement: “Abu Dhabi is a thriving cultural hub with a clear economic vision built on sustainability and diversification. With the emirate’s diverse attractions and hospitality offerings, travel and tourism play a vital role in the economic growth of the capital and the UAE. By partnering with Air Arabia and launching Abu Dhabi’s first low-cost carrier, we are serving this long-term vision.”
He added: “This exciting partnership supports our transformation programme and will offer our guests a new option for low-cost travel to and from Abu Dhabi, supplementing our own services. We look forward to the launch of the new airline in due course.”
Based in Abu Dhabi, the new company will adopt the low-cost business model. Its board of directors, consisting of members nominated by Etihad and Air Arabia, will steer the company’s independent strategy and business mandate.
The UAE’s travel and tourism sector contributes to over 13.3 per cent of the nation’s GDP and enjoys a prominent standing as a global aviation hub, thanks to the UAE’s ultra-modern infrastructure, advanced services sector and high-quality air transport.
“Home to the first low-cost carrier in the MENA region, the UAE has developed over the years to become a world-leading travel and tourism hub,” CEO, Air Arabia, Adel Al Ali commented. “We are thrilled to partner with Etihad to establish Air Arabia Abu Dhabi that will further serve the growing low-cost travel segment locally and regionally while capitalising on the expertise that Air Arabia and Etihad will be providing.”