By Sam Bridge
New low-cost carrier is expected to take to the skies by the second quarter of this year
The UAE Cabinet has approved Air Arabia Abu Dhabi as one of the country's national carriers.
As part of the agenda of its meeting this week, the Cabinet said Air Arabia Abu Dhabi will play a key role to enhance civil aviation in the country and to allow the aviation sector to keep pace with future development plans and directions.
It said the resolution reflects the importance the government attaches to the aviation sector.
Air Arabia Abu Dhabi is expected to take to the skies by the second quarter of this year.
Etihad Aviation Group announced last October the joint venture with Air Arabia to launch the capital’s first low-cost carrier from its hub in Abu Dhabi International Airport.
"The UAE government invested considerable efforts to improve this sector and support all the businesses working in it. The government gives the aviation sector all forms of support in line with the comprehensive development plans occurring in the country," the Cabinet said in a statement.
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.
The announcement was part of the Cabinet's first meeting in 2020, chaired by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.