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Wizz Air opens a new hub in Abu Dhabi with cheap flights from Europe

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As the best capitalised airline in Europe – and even stronger now that the UK Government gave the Hungarian company a £300 million soft loanWizz Air is pushing on with its expansion.

This new venture does look interesting, I must admit.

Wizz Air has set up a joint venture with state-owned Abu Dhabi Developmental Holding Company to form a new subsidiary.  Branded as Wizz Air, it will operate flights from Abu Dhabi to Europe, the Indian subcontinent, Middle East and Africa.

Wizz Air opens a new hub in Abu Dhabi

The first routes are now on sale.  As the Abu Dhabi hub is not yet operational, the first wave of flights will operate 2-3 times per week from existing Wizz Air bases in Europe.  The launch dates are:

  • Budapest – Abu Dhabi (3rd June)
  • Bucharest – Abu Dhabi (3rd June)
  • Katowice – Abu Dhabi (15th September)
  • Sofia – Abu Dhabi (15th September)
  • Cluj-Napoca (Romania) – Abu Dhabi (15th September)

I can see fares as low as £150 return out of Budapest during October, although checked baggage would increase that sharply.

Wizz Air does not have the aircraft to fly directly from the UK to Abu Dhabi at present, but this will change.  The airline has 20 Airbus A321XLR aircraft on order.  This is same aircraft type that Aer Lingus has ordered to allow it to serve more of the United States from Dublin using a short-haul plane.

Comments (47)

  • Rich says:

    A ‘courageous’ time to be launching a new hub.

    • Rob says:

      I think the Abu Dhabi Government will be making it worthwhile. It’s not a bad move – gets traffic into the Middle East from places not served by Etihad, most of which will stay in the region and generate a decent chunk of additional spending which generates VAT revenue etc. The airport is also gearing up to open its massive new terminal at a time when Etihad is retrenching.

      • marcw says:

        What I don´t understand is that the Abu Dhabi State fund is pairing up with WizzAir. But then Etihad is pairing up with Air Arabia to create Air Arabia Abu Dhabi. Isn´t Etihad owned by the state as well? Are they trying to cannibalise each other?

        • Blenz101 says:

          Pretty standard in the UAE. Various state owned entities ‘compete’ independently to provide competition. Dividends from each returned to the state as profit.

          Phone networks being the most glaring example for anybody that has lived in the region. Choice of two, both state owned, and make BT look cheap.

        • ADS says:

          i wonder how long before they start doing code shares with Etihad ?

          in the way that FlyDubai eventually started doing it with Emirates