Hungary-based LCC, Wizz Air, has announced five new routes from Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH). The routes will connect the capital of the United Arab Emirates with Budapest and Bucharest from June 2020, and with Cluj-Napoca, Katowice and Sofia from September 2020, subject to aviation activities being resumed in the respective countries. This announcement sees Wizz Air become the first European low-cost carrier to launch flights to Abu Dhabi.
This move supplements the agreement in March formalising the establishment of Wizz Air Abu Dhabi as a local airline based in Abu Dhabi, in a partnership between ADQ and Wizz Air. It is Wizz Air’s first airline established outside of Europe, and is expected to begin operations later this year.
Wizz Air’s strategy is to focus on establishing routes to markets in which the airline has existing, high-growth operations, namely Central and Eastern and Western Europe, as well as the Indian subcontinent, Middle East and Africa, over the longer term.
Shareef Al Hashmi, acting CEO of Abu Dhabi Airports Company, commented, “Wizz Air’s new routes to Budapest, Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Katowice and Sofia highlight our commitment to connecting Abu Dhabi with the most sought-after global destinations. 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. Visitors from Hungary, Romania, Poland and Bulgaria can look forward to enjoying our modern terminal facilities with a unique brand of Arabian hospitality before seamlessly heading out to experience the UAE’s thriving capital city, Abu Dhabi.”
József Váradi, CEO of Wizz Air Holdings added that the 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 of Central and Eastern Europe… Wizz Air’s mission feeds into Abu Dhabi’s diversified economic strategy as we continue to stimulate traffic by creating demand, to the benefit of growing Abu Dhabi’s touristic and economic diversity. We look forward to welcoming passengers on board our young, green and ultra-efficient fleet, while we pay extra attention to the health and well-being of our passengers and crew.”
Wizz Air’s new services will add almost 220,000 seat capacity to the airline’s Abu Dhabi network per year. Flights are already on sale and can be booked at wizzair.com, starting from EUR 59.99. In the case of travel bans, imposed due to the Covid-19 outbreak, impacting the start date of the flights, passengers with bookings for affected flights will have a chance to rebook for a later date, request a full cash refund, or 120% of the value of the booking in Wizz Credit that can be used for the purchase of Wizz flights and services.
The airline is implementing several measures to support physical distancing during boarding, and enhanced cleanliness on board. The airline asks passengers to handle bookings online where possible, including online check-in, baggage drop-off as well as opting in for contactless payment during onboard purchases. Wearing masks onboard is obligatory for crew and passengers.
Aircraft will be thoroughly cleaned several times a day and disinfected overnight, and the crew will also hand out sanitising pads to passengers at boarding as well as observing seat distancing where load factors allow.