Wizz Air has announced plans to set up its first airline outside of Europe, which it hopes to launch in the second half of 2020.
The budget carrier has agreed in principle an ultra-low cost joint venture with the Abu Dhabi Developmental Holding Company (ADDH).
Wizz Air Abu Dhabi will focus on routes to markets where Wizz has existing, “high-growth” operations, namely central, eastern and western Europe.
Its longer-term vision involves targeting the Indian subcontinent, Middle East and Africa.
According to Wizz, an Abu Dhabi-based budget carrier will boost the hub’s efforts to become a “world-class” cultural and tourist destination.
Wizz’s plans remain subject to a formal, written agreement with ADDH, external approval and consent, and Wizz satisfying local regulatory requirements.
Wizz Air Abu Dhabi’s fleet will consist of Airbus A321neo aircraft.
Chief executive Jozsef Varadi said ADDH’s “deep-rooted” knowledge of the aviation market in Abu Dhabi would be invaluable to making a success of the project.
“We believe the new airline has the potential to be a significant player in the region,” Varadi added.