UAE‘s Etihad Aviation Group and Air Arabia, the Middle East and North Africa’s first and largest low-cost carrier, today announced the signing of an agreement to launch ‘Air Arabia Abu Dhabi‘, the capital’s first 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.
Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “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: “We look forward to the launch of the new airline in due course”.
Adel Al Ali, Group Chief Executive Officer, Air Arabia, said: “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. 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”.
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% of the nation’s GDP.