Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, the ultra-low-fare national airline of the UAE, sees “massive potential” to grow the carrier in the Gulf region, managing director Johan Eidhagen said.

Speaking to FINN, he said the air travel market had recovered from the pandemic faster in the UAE than in Europe, noting that this was driving growth in passenger numbers.

Eidhagen said: “We are growing rapidly, and we see massive potential not only to grow in the market, but we’re actually growing above the market.

“You have to remember that if you look at Europe over the past year, it is actually the ULCC [ultra-low cost carrier] model that is probably the most resilient to economic downturns.”

Ramping up operations this summer

The carrier, a joint venture established between ADQ and Wizz Air Holdings PLC, has been ramping up operations this summer to meet that high demand. It is also expanding its modern, sustainable fleet of Airbus A321neo and -ceo aircraft.

The additional aircraft will enable Wizz Air Abu Dhabi to enhance frequencies in both the UAE and throughout multiple continents. The fleet is expected to grow to 14-16 aircraft in just 12 months.

Wizz Air Abu Dhabi enjoyed a record-breaking 2022, operating more than 6,000 flights and transporting more than 1.2 million travellers. The airline carried over 600,000 point-to-point passengers to the UAE in 2022.

The airline is commencing operations to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan and is relaunching routes to Larnaca, Santorini and Sohag, Egypt.

Satisfying demand

Eidhagen said that key to keeping prices low was making sure that there was sufficient capacity across the network as the appetite for air travel in the UAE and beyond grows.

“There is definitely a factor of satisfying the demand in the market, this is something that every business strives for, which is being able to satisfy your customers,” he said.

“If we don’t satisfy that demand, the effect is that with our pricing model, prices would go up over time.”

Most recently, Wizz Air Abu Dhabi launched flights to Erbil, the ancient capital city of the Kurdistan Region in Iraq.

“We are committed to expanding our network into more countries across Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East,” Eidhagen added.
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