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First Abu Dhabi budget carrier receives the green light

Posted 23 April 2020 · Add Comment

The first of the two low-cost carriers planned for the UAE capital ‘Air Arabia Abu Dhabi’ (AAAD), has been given the formal go ahead by the UAE’s regulator, the GCAA, and has been awarded its Air Operatinng Certificate (AOC).

Air Arabia Abu Dhabi is a joint venture established by the UAE’s national carrier Etihad Airways, and Air Arabia, the Middle East’s first LCC headquartered at Sharjah. The new independent budget airline will have its hub at Abu Dhabi International Airport.

It becomes the fifth airline in the UAE.

“Air Arabia Abu Dhabi will continue to work closely with the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) to finalise the launch date as market conditions improve and skies are open again”, Air Arabia said in a statement.

The new carrier is expected to compete with another LCC as Europe’s Wizz Air is in the process of launching a subsidiary airline to operate in association with local partners from Abu Dhabi too.

Saif Al Suwaidi, Director-General of GCAA, said in a statement: “While the global aviation industry continues to face its greatest challenge due to the impact of COVID-19 on air traffic movement, today’s announcement reflects the strength and confidence of the UAE’s aviation sector and its long-term prospects.


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