Air Arabia Abu Dhabi, a joint venture between state-owned Etihad Airways and the Air Arabia group, will start operating on July 14, 2020, from the United Arab Emirates’ capital. The new low-cost carrier detailed its flight plan.

The first low-cost airline to operate from Abu Dhabi received its Air Operating Certificate (AOC) in April 2020. It will initially fly two routes towards Egypt with three weekly flights towards Alexandria-Borg El Arab International Airport (HBE) and one to Sohag International Airport (HMB). New routes will be added as the market recovers.

The two routes were not originally announced when the airline revealed its flight plan in December 2019. At the time, the airline expected to fly towards Eastern Europe, Pakistan and India. But those regions are currently unreachable due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“This joint venture between Etihad and Air Arabia will offer greater convenience and direct access to the UAE’s thriving capital for new markets worldwide, beginning with two key Egyptian routes, and expanding in time,” commented Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Aviation Group.

“While the global aviation sector continues to witness unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19 pandemic, this step is a testament to the strength of the UAE aviation sector and our commitment to its long-term prospects,” Adel Al Ali, Group Chief Executive Officer of Air Arabia said. The group already set up similar joint ventures, including subsidiaries Air Arabia Maroc, Air Arabia Jordan and Air Arabia Egypt.

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As both Wizz Air and Air Arabia and Etihad announced their low-cost adventures in Abu Dhabi, one question arises: why Abu Dhabi out of all the places?