• Joe Breitfeller

Etihad and Air Arabia Team Up to Launch First Abu Dhabi Based Low-Cost-Carrier

Updated: Jan 11, 2020

Today, the Etihad Aviation Group, owner of Etihad, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates and parent company of Air Arabia, announced an agreement to form a new low-cost-carrier (LCC) called ‘Air Arabia Abu Dhabi.’ This will be the first LCC to operate from the UAE capital.

Air Arabia Airbus A320 - Courtesy Air Arabia

Air Arabia, Africa’s largest low-cost-carrier, announced in a press release today the signing of an agreement with the Etihad Aviation Group to form a new Abu Dhabi based LCC called ‘Air Arabia Abu Dhabi.' The new airline will be an independent joint venture company operating out of Abu Dhabi International Airport and will cater to the growing LCC market in the region. In the announcement, Etihad Aviation Group CEO, Tony Douglas stated,

“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. This exciting partnership supports our transformation programme and will offer our guests a new option for low-cost travel to and from Abu Dhabi, supplementing our own services. We look forward to the launch of the new airline in due course.”

Air Arabia Abu Dhabi will adopt the LCC business model and the board of directors, which will be nominated by both Etihad and Air Arabia, will develop the company business model and competitive strategy. The UAE is a global aviation hub, offering world class infrastructure, advanced technological services and world-class air transportation. Travel and tourism currently contribute 13.3% to the nation's annual GDP. The low-cost carrier model has been growing exponentially in the Middle East, expanding from 8% of seat capacity in 2008, to 17% in 2018.

Air Arabia Group CEO Adel Al Ali stated in today’s announcement,

“Home to the first low-cost carrier in the MENA [Middle East and North Africa] 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 capitalizing on the expertise that Air Arabia and Etihad will be providing.”

Source: Air Arabia

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