New Emirati airline launched amid low travel demand

Air Arabia Abu Dhabi

Despite the low travel demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic, a new low-cost carrier, Air Arabia Abu Dhabi, will take to the skies on July 14, 2020 with direct flights connecting Abu Dhabi with the two Egyptian cities of Alexandria and Sohag. The inaugural flight will take off from Abu Dhabi to Alexandria on July 14 followed by flights to Sohag the next day.

Air Arabia Abu Dhabi will start its operations with two Airbus A320 aircraft based in Abu Dhabi International Airport offering the same value-added product and services provided by Air Arabia across its hubs. The customer journey has also been upgraded adhering to all local and international guidelines set in place to ensure safety protocols and health measures are always met.

Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “In these extraordinary times, it gives us great pride to launch Air Arabia Abu Dhabi, the capital’s first low-cost carrier. This joint venture between Etihad and Air Arabia will offer greater convenience and direct access to the UAE’s thriving capital for new markets worldwide, beginning with two key Egyptian routes, and expanding in time.

“Abu Dhabi has earned itself an exceptional reputation for business and leisure travel alike, and we look forward to seeing the emirate continue to prosper as the current global situation improves and markets begin to reopen.”

Adel Al Ali, Group Chief Executive Officer, Air Arabia, said: “We are delighted to announce the launch of the first flight of Air Arabia Abu Dhabi. While the global aviation sector continues to witness unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19 pandemic, this step is a testament to the strength of the UAE aviation sector and our commitment to its long-term prospects”.

He continued: “Egypt is a key travel market and the launch of the first flights reflects our focus on supporting commercial and trade ties between both nations while providing our customers with a new value-for-money option to travel between both countries.”

He added: “Abu Dhabi is a major travel and tourism hub and Air Arabia Abu Dhabi will further serve this vision by positioning Abu Dhabi as a key hub in the region for low-cost travel. We look forward to expanding Air Arabia Abu Dhabi destination network as more airports open up and flights resume.”

Flights to Alexandria’s Borg Al Arab International Airport (HBE) will operate three times a week while flights to Sohag International Airport (HMB) will operate once weekly.

Air Arabia Abu Dhabi was formed following an agreement by Etihad Airways and Air Arabia to establish an independent joint venture company that will operate as a low-cost passenger airline with Abu Dhabi International Airport as its hub. Abu Dhabi’s first low-cost carrier follows the business model of Air Arabia and complements the services of Etihad Airways from Abu Dhabi thereby catering to the growing low-cost travel market segment in the region.

The MENA low-cost air travel model was first introduced in the UAE in 2003 with the launch of Air Arabia and has recorded rapid growth since then.

Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates, a federation of seven emirates including, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain.

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