Air Arabia Abu Dhabi: Etihad, Air Arabia launch new low-cost airline in UAE


A new UAE budget carrier has been launched by Sharjah's Air Arabia and Abu Dhabi's Etihad Aviation Group, further increasing the competition in the aviation sector as well as giving UAE residents an additional economical option to choose from.

The new carrier - called Air Arabia Abu Dhabi - is the fifth airline to operate from the UAE after Emirates, Etihad, flydubai and Air Arabia, serving 9.5 million residents. Based out of Abu Dhabi International Airport, the new carrier will target the low-cost travel market segment in the Middle East region and complement Etihad Airways, said a Press statement released on Wednesday.

Etihad and Air Arabia currently operate a combined fleet of 162 aircraft, including 109 by the former and 53 by the latter. Air Arabia flies to 170 destinations across 50 countries through its Sharjah, Morocco and Egypt hubs while Etihad flies to 80 destinations.

Air Arabia Abu Dhabi has been launched against the backdrop of a tough aviation environment as 17 airlines have gone bust so far this year globally, including Jet Airways, Thomas Cook, Aigle Zur and XL Airways, Germania, Flybmi and Adria of Slovenia. But industry executives believe that the sector will pick up as global trade war eases ahead of elections in the US.

Tony Douglas, group CEO of Etihad Aviation Group, said the carrier will offer passengers a new option for low-cost travel to and from Abu Dhabi. "We look forward to the launch of the new airline in due course".

Adel Al Ali, group CEO of Air Arabia, said the UAE has developed over the years to become a leading travel and tourism hub and this partnership will further serve the growing low-cost travel segment locally and regionally.

However, the two UAE airlines didn't share the launch date as well as the destinations for the new carrier.

Abu Dhabi Airports said the new LCC will cater to the growing low-cost travel market through its hub in Abu Dhabi International Airport, strengthening the city's air connectivity and accessibility.

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