Abu Dhabi’s leading airline Etihad Airways and Sharjah’s low-cost carrier Air Arabia have announced an agreement to start a new low-cost passenger airline which will be based in the UAE capital. The new airline Air Arabia Abu Dhabi will operate from Abu Dhabi International Airport, and will cater to the growing demand for affordable travel in the region.

Air Arabia Abu Dhabi will be the fifth airline to fly from the UAE after Etihad Airways, Emirates, Air Arabia and Flydubai.

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.

“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”.

Adding to this, Adel Al Ali, group chief executive officer, Air Arabia, said, “Home to the first low-cost carrier in the Middle East and North Africa (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.

“This step demonstrates the strength of the UAE aviation sector and serves the vision driving its growth. We look forward to a successful partnership and the launch of the new carrier.”

etihad.com, airarabia.com