Wizz Air Abu Dhabi is now just under two weeks from its inaugural flight. The Hungarian budget carrier is hoping to replicate its European success in the Middle East by offering ultra-low-fares on popular routes. Here’s what to expect from the airline’s newest project.
Originally slated to launch in October, Wizz Air decided to push back the launch of the airline a few times due to ongoing restrictions and low demand. However, January 15th is now the official date for the first flight of Wizz Air Abu Dhabi. The carrier will fly from Abu Dhabi to Athens, leaving at 12:30 PM local time and arriving at 16:15 PM.
A few weeks later, on February 4th, Wizz will start its route from Abu Dhabi to Thessaloniki, Greece. Currently, Wizz is restricting flights to the countries on Abu Dhabi’s “green list,” which allows for quarantine-free travel. Greece and Greenland are the only countries on the green list currently, slowing the airline’s planned expansion.
The next destinations for the airline are Alexandria, Kutaisi, Larnaca, Odesa, and Yerevan. In a press release, the airline struck an optimistic note about its pending plans, saying,
“Our network from Abu Dhabi will expand rapidly as destinations on our planned network are added to the ‘green countries’ list. Thanks to the support of the government and our local business partners in Abu Dhabi, we are fully prepared. We have the aircraft, we have the crew, we have the partners, and we are ready to fly. We look forward to building a new travel segment in this important market.”
Passengers who’ve flown Wizz Air in Europe will be familiar with the carrier’s low-cost model. While the lowest fare for the inaugural Abu Dhabi-Athens flight is only AED129 ($35), this only includes the seat and one personal bag. Any cabin bags, checked-in luggage, meals, seat selection, priority service, and everything else is chargeable. This means the final fare almost definitely looks a lot different from the advertised one.
Onboard, Wizz packs 230 seats into its A321neos in a standard 3-3 configuration. With 28 inches of pitch and 18 inches of width, these aren’t the biggest in the sky but are alright for short hops (and the fare paid!). Meals aren’t complimentary and can be bought on board, similar to other low-cost carriers.
While most airlines went into hibernation during 2020, Wizz went into overdrive planning for its future. The airline opened several new bases across Europe and took delivery of more A320neos over the year. This expansion has allowed the airline to start 2021 running and quickly jump on any recovering demand in the future.
The newest base in Abu Dhabi will give Wizz Air access to whole new Asian and Middle East markets, without the perils of a long-haul airline. Expect a lot more news from this growing airline in 2021!