ABU DHABI, UAE, Dec. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Wizz Air Holdings Plc (the “Company” or “Wizz Air”), Europe’s greenest airline* and the largest low-cost airline in Central and Eastern Europe, announced today that it has reached agreement in principle for the establishment of Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates in partnership with Abu Dhabi Development Holding Company PJSC (“ADDH”). The new airline will be Wizz Air’s first airline established outside of Europe.
It is intended that Wizz Air Abu Dhabi will be formed via a joint venture, and operations are expected to launch in the second half of 2020. The airline will focus on establishing routes to markets in which Wizz Air has existing, high growth operations, namely Central and Eastern and Western Europe, as well as the Indian subcontinent, Middle East and Africa over the long run. Wizz Air believes that the establishment of a truly ultra-low cost airline in Abu Dhabi can contribute to the continued growth of Abu Dhabi as a world-class cultural and tourist destination. ADDH’s deep rooted knowledge of the local market, support and navigation in a new market for WIZZ is invaluable and will boost the successful development of the new airline.
The establishment and start of the new airline is subject to, amongst other things, agreement and entry into force of definitive documentation with ADDH, the receipt of all necessary internal and external approvals and consents, and the new airline satisfying all regulatory requirements of the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority to obtain an Air Operator’s Certificate (‘AOC’).
With a fleet composed of Airbus A321neo aircraft, the world’s most efficient narrow body aircraft, Wizz Air Abu Dhabi will gain access to markets with a total of 5 billion customers across Europe and beyond. The new airline’s customer proposition will align directly to that of Wizz Air with a singular focus on offering a superior value based quality air travel built on the foundations of one of the world’s greenest aircraft fleets*.
Commenting today in Abu Dhabi József Váradi Chief Executive Officer of Wizz Air Holdings said: “We are proud that our first airline to be established outside of Europe is in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE. ADDH’s deep rooted knowledge of the local market, support and navigation in a new market for Wizz is invaluable and will boost the successful development of this low-cost airline.”
Wizz Air Abu Dhabi will be an incremental path of growth for Wizz Air, built on our successful ultra-low cost business model, bringing affordable travel to ever more customers. We believe the new airline has the potential to be a significant player in the region. I would like to express my greatest gratitude to H.E. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Hamad Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan and Mr. Mohammad Al Suwaidi for their dedication and support, without which this unique partnership would not have been realized.”- he added.
H.E. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Hamad Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Airports, commented: “As Abu Dhabi International Airport continues its growth as a major gateway to the UAE and the wider region, we welcome contribution airlines, such as this new airline, and the impact this partnership will make to our continued national economic development. We look forward to building a highly successful partnership with them in the years to come.”
Mr. Mohamed Hassan Al Suwaidi, CEO of ADDH, said: “As a trusted government partner with a clear mandate to boost key sectors of Abu Dhabi’s non-oil economy, we are proud to partner with Wizz Air, an airline with strong market presence and brand recognition in key European source markets. Through our partnership with Wizz Air, we aim to capitalise on the growing demand for budget travel and support the continued growth of Abu Dhabi as a world-class cultural and tourist destination.”
Bryan Thompson, CEO of Abu Dhabi Airports Company, commented: “The launch of the new airline is further testament to the Emirate’s robust aviation infrastructure. In addition to a strong transfer passenger program, Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) has also seen an increase in origin and destination traffic this year—remaining one of the fastest-growing airport hubs in the region. New travel offerings continue to inspire visitors from around the world to come to Abu Dhabi. We welcome the world to Abu Dhabi, and look forward to providing an exceptional passenger experience to even more travellers through this venture.”
* Wizz Air’s carbon-dioxide emissions were the lowest among European airlines in November 2019 (57.2 gr/km/passenger)
About Wizz Air
Wizz Air, the largest low-cost airline in Central and Eastern Europe, offers more than 700 routes from 25 bases, connecting 153 destinations across 44 countries. A team of more than 5,000 aviation professionals delivers superior service and very low fares making Wizz Air the preferred choice of 38 million passengers in the past 12 months. WIZZ operates an all-Airbus fleet of 120 aircraft. Its A320s are equipped with 180 seats, its A321s with 230 seats and its A321neo aircraft with 239 seats. According to the latest data of the Swiss airline intelligence provider CH-Aviation, Wizz Air has one of the youngest airline fleets in the world. Wizz Air is listed on the London Stock Exchange under the ticker WIZZ and is included in the FTSE 250 and FTSE All-Share Indices. Wizz Air is registered under the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Operational Safety Audit (IOSA), the global benchmark in airline safety recognition. The company was recently named one of the world’s top ten safest airlines by airlineratings.com, the world’s only safety and product rating agency, and 2019 – Airline of the Year by Air Transport Awards the only international awards that recognizes the year’s most outstanding performers in the aerospace industry in the most important categories.
About Abu Dhabi Developmental Holding Company
Headquartered in Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Developmental Holding Company (ADDH) was established in 2018 as a public joint stock company (PJSC). It holds a diverse portfolio of state-owned enterprises (SOE) spanning key sectors of Abu Dhabi’s economy, including utilities, tourism, transport & logistics, industries, real estate, media, healthcare, agri-foods and ICT.
With a clearly defined mandate to generate sustainable financial returns for the Government of Abu Dhabi, ADDH stimulates value creation by developing prominent cluster ecosystems and instilling a culture of performance and efficiency across its portfolio of companies.
In addition to its role as a strategic government partner, ADDH is an asset owner and investor in target sectors, both locally and internationally, which align with Abu Dhabi’s leadership vision.
ADDH is committed to developing a globally competitive Abu Dhabi and operates with world-class standards of governance.
About Abu Dhabi Airports (ADAC)
Abu Dhabi Airports is a public joint-stock company wholly owned by Abu Dhabi Developmental Holding Company PJSC. It was established in March 2006 to spearhead the development of the Emirate’s aviation infrastructure. In September 2006, Abu Dhabi Airports assumed responsibility for the operation and management of Abu Dhabi and Al Ain International Airports. In 2008, Abu Dhabi Airports added Al Bateen Executive Airport (an exclusive business aviation airport), as well as Sir Bani Yas and Delma Island Airports to its portfolio. These airports are geared to serve the various segments of air travellers, the aviation marketplace, and will help contribute to Abu Dhabi’s development as a destination for both business and leisure tourism. Currently under way is the multi-billion-dollar re-development and expansion of Abu Dhabi International Airport designed to increase the overall capacity of the airport.
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This announcement, oral statements made and other information published by Wizz Air contain statements which are, or may be deemed to be, “forward-looking statements”. All statements, other than statements of historical fact are, or may be deemed to be, forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are prospective in nature and are not based on historical facts, but rather on assumptions, expectations, valuations, targets, estimates, forecasts and projections of Wizz Air about future events, and are therefore subject to risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results, performance or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking words such as “plans”, “expects”, “budget”, “targets”, “aims”, “scheduled”, “estimates”, “forecast”, “intends”, “anticipates”, “seeks”, “prospects”, “potential”, “possible”, “assume” or “believes”, or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “should”, “would”, “might” or “will” be taken, occur or be achieved. Although Wizz Air believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, Wizz Air can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risks (known and unknown) and uncertainties (and other factors that are in many cases beyond the control of Wizz Air) because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that may or may not occur in the future. There are a number of factors that could affect the future operations of the Wizz Air Group and that could cause actual results and developments to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Other unknown or unpredictable factors could affect future operations and/or cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements should therefore be construed in the light of such factors. Each forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date of this announcement. None of the Wizz Air Group (being Wizz Air and its subsidiary undertakings from time to time and where the context permits, each of them) nor any of its associates or directors, officers or advisers, provides any representation, warranty, assurance or guarantee that the occurrence of the events expressed or implied in any forward-looking statements in this announcement will actually occur. Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties. All forward-looking statements contained in this announcement are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements contained or referred to in this section. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Other than in accordance with their legal or regulatory obligations (including under the Listing Rules, the Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules and the EU Market Abuse Regulation), the Wizz Air Group is not under nor undertakes any obligation, and expressly disclaims any intention or obligation, to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
No profit forecast or estimates
No statement in this announcement is intended as a profit forecast or estimate for any period.
Publication on website
A copy of this announcement will be made available on Wizz Air’s website at https://wizzair.com/en-gb/