Wizz Air Abu Dhabi’s launch has been delayed, once again, to mid-November. The news comes a week before the airline’s initial proposed start date, which has been pushed back once already.
Second revised launch date
Wizz Air’s newest subsidiary airline, based in Abu Dhabi, has once again been subjected to a delayed launch. Having received its first aircraft at the beginning of September, the airline had, according to Routesonline, planned to commence operations from Abu Dhabi International Airport with its first flights serving Kutaisi, Georgia and Odessa, Ukraine on October 1st.
These aircraft, registered A6-WZA and A6-WZB, were scheduled to be the first of 50 to arrive and be based at the Middle Eastern hub over the next 10 years. CEO Jozsef Varadi is eventually eyeing a fleet of 100 based in the capital of the United Arab Emirates by 2035. However, in mid-September, the airline’s launch was delayed for the first time by two weeks to mid-October. This was, as one might expect, a result of the coronavirus-related restrictions that continue to affect air travel worldwide.
The subsidiary’s revised launch date is now November 15th, although some flights, as reported by Routesonline, will not commence until mid-December. The full schedule from Abu Dhabi, which will be operated by Airbus A321neo aircraft, is as follows:
- Alexandria Borg El Arab, Egypt – 3x weekly, commencing November 16th (previously October 16th, originally October 2nd).
- Athens, Greece – 3x weekly, commencing November 16th (previously October 16th, originally October 2nd).
- Kutaisi, Georgia – 2x weekly, commencing November 15th (previously October 18th, originally October 1st).
- Larnaca, Cyprus – 2x weekly, commencing November 17th (previously October 17th, originally October 3rd).
- Odesa, Ukraine – 2x weekly, commencing December 17th (previously October 25th, originally October 1st).
- Yerevan, Armenia – 2x weekly, commencing November 17th (previously October 17th, originally October 3rd).
In the pipeline for almost a year
With Simple Flying having first reported the airline’s plans to expand operations to the Middle East in December 2019, Wizz Air Abu Dhabi will have been in planning for 11 months by the time its first flight to Kutaisi departs on November 15th. This is, of course, subject to any further delay.
The Abu Dhabi-based airline will be the Wizz Air’s second active subsidiary. The first, Wizz Air UK, was formed in 2017 and recently opened bases at London Gatwick and Doncaster Sheffield. Despite the strong effects that the present coronavirus pandemic is having on air travel, this is a sign that Wizz Air, nonetheless, remains committed to further expansion in the long term.
Despite the delay to the launch of its subsidiary’s base there, Wizz Air has already served Abu Dhabi with its mainline fleet. It first flew from Budapest to Abu Dhabi in July, and it will be interesting to see whether the opening of a base there will see the beginnings of a low-cost revolution in the traditionally more luxurious United Arab Emirates.
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