Dhaka: European budget carrier Wizz Air operated its first scheduled passenger flight to Abu Dhabi from Budapest on July 1 ahead of the airline’s expansion into the Middle East market.
The Budapest-Abu Dhabi flight will be followed by flights from Sofia, Katowice and Cluj-Napoca in September.
“The arrival of Wizz Air is a testament to the strength of the Abu Dhabi market and a reflection of the success of our investments in transforming Abu Dhabi International Airport into a strategically positioned global hub for airlines from across the world,” said Khalil Lamrabet, Senior Vice President, Aviation Development, Abu Dhabi Airport.
Eastern Europe’s largest low-cost carrier is due to launch Wizz Air Abu Dhabi later this year, which will see the Hungarian airline looking to replicate its European success in the Gulf region.
George Michalopoulos, Chief Commercial Officer of Wizz Air, said the carrier is “committed to growing the [its] network to the capital of the UAE”.
While many airlines are pairing back their operations and networks amid the coronavirus crisis, Wizz Air’s CEO said he is looking to accelerate and expand plans to enter the Middle East market.
At the end of June, the UAE designated Wizz Air Abu Dhabi as a national carrier, joining the likes of Etihad Airways.
“If you look at what we’ve been able to achieve in the EU, we managed to grow our fleet to 100 aircraft over the last 15 years and we should be able to do the same thing in Abu Dhabi,” József Váradi, CEO, Wizz Air said.