Europe’s Wizz Air to launch Abu Dhabi carrier next year

Wizz Air, which flies to 44 countries, has operated flights from European cities to Dubai since 2013. (File/AFP)
Short Url
Updated 12 December 2019

Europe’s Wizz Air to launch Abu Dhabi carrier next year

  • Budapest-based Wizz Air said its new carrier aims to offer flights from Europe to the Middle East,
  • Wizz Air Abu Dhabi will be formed via a joint venture with state-owned Abu Dhabi Development Holding

ABU DHABI: European low-cost airline Wizz Air said on Thursday it plans to launch Wizz Air Abu Dhabi in the second half of 2020, its first carrier outside of Europe.

Budapest-based Wizz Air, one of the largest low-cost airlines in Central and Eastern Europe, said its new carrier aims to offer flights from Europe to the Middle East, and longer term to the Indian subcontinent and Africa as well.

“We believe the new airline has the potential to be a significant player in the region,” Wizz Air Holdings Chief Executive Jozsef Varadi said in a statement.

It faces competition, however, as Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways’ low-cost joint venture with Air Arabia is expected to start operations by the second quarter of 2020 from Abu Dhabi.

Wizz Air, which flies to 44 countries, has operated flights from European cities to Dubai since 2013.

Wizz Air Abu Dhabi will be formed via a joint venture with state-owned Abu Dhabi Development Holding Company PJSC.

With a fleet of Airbus A321neo aircraft, Wizz Air Abu Dhabi will gain access to markets with 5 billion potential customers across Europe and beyond, Wizz Air said in its statement.

Related


Airbus agrees to settle corruption probes with US, France and UK

Updated 6 min ago

Airbus agrees to settle corruption probes with US, France and UK

  • Airbus said it could not comment on precise details regarding its talks with authorities
  • The European planemaker had already fired more than 100 people over ethics and compliance issues
PARIS: Airbus has agreed in principle to a settlement with French, British and US authorities over an investigation into allegations of bribery and corruption, it said on Tuesday.
The European planemaker has been investigated by French and British authorities for suspected corruption over jet sales dating back over a decade. It has also faced US investigations over suspected violations of export controls.
Airbus, which dominates with US rival Boeing the commercial airliner market, said it could not comment on precise details regarding its talks with authorities, including how much it expected to pay out in the settlements. Some press reports suggested a figure of around €3 billion ($3.3 billion).
Nevertheless, Airbus shares rose, as analysts and traders welcomed the fact that Airbus was managing to draw a line under the affair.
“Airbus confirms that it has reached agreement in principle with the French Parquet National Financier (PNF), the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and the US authorities,” the Franco-German company said in a statement.
“These agreements are made in the context of investigations into allegations of bribery and corruption as well as compliance with the US International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). They remain subject to approval by French and UK courts and the US court and regulator,” it said.
Analysts at brokerage Jefferies welcomed the settlement, although they wrote in a note to clients that the reported cost of €3 billion was “toward the upper end of what we thought probable.”
A traders’ note from Bank of America (BofA) said the settlement removed a negative “overhang” on the stock.
Airbus had already fired more than 100 people over ethics and compliance issues as a result of its own probe into the corruption allegations.
The investigations by British and French authorities began after Airbus drew the attention of regulators to inaccurate declarations it had made to Britain’s export credit finance agency over payments to sales agents. The SFO launched its probe in August 2016, followed seven months later by the PNF.
At the center of the case was a decades-old system of third-party agents or intermediaries run from a now-disbanded headquarters unit which at its height involved some 250 people across parts of the world and several hundreds of millions of euros of payments a year, sources familiar with the matter have said.
A German probe into Airbus for potential misuse of client documents is ongoing.