By Gavin Gibbon
Low-cost airline to be based from Abu Dhabi International Airport
Air Arabia Abu Dhabi will take to the skies by the second quarter of next year, according to the boss of the airline.
Etihad Aviation Group announced in October the joint venture with Air Arabia to launch the capital’s first low-cost carrier from its hub in Abu Dhabi International Airport.
Tony Douglas, chief executive of Etihad, said this week: “At the end of the first quarter or second quarter next year, if you want to be on one of these aircraft, the opportunity will be there for you.
"What we'll see is connectivity from Abu Dhabi using Air Arabia Abu Dhabi, which is going to be great for the traveling public and great for Etihad and we're really excited about it."
Douglas refused to reveal destinations for the new carrier but said there would be more announcements in the coming weeks.
The MENA low-cost air travel model was first introduced in the UAE in 2003 and has been rapidly growing since. Today, the Middle East market enjoys the third highest gains in intra-regional low-cost carrier penetration rate. Low-cost carriers accounted for 17 percent share of seat capacity to and from the Middle East in 2018, compared to only 8 percent in 2009.