Home Dubai News Delayed Wizz Air Abu Dhabi gets final nod to launch operations

Delayed Wizz Air Abu Dhabi gets final nod to launch operations

Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, the new national airline of the UAE whose official launch has been delayed by coronavirus restrictions, has officially received its air operator certificate from the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), it was announced on Saturday.

Receiving the certificate completes the last step in the regulatory processes to allow the airline to launch operations which were originally due to start on October 1.

Delayed Wizz Air Abu Dhabi gets final nod to launch operations

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In September, the CEO of Wizz Air Holdings said it would delay the launch of its new airline in Abu Dhabi if a ban on foreign visitors wasn’t relaxed.

Flights will be pushed back by a few weeks because of the health-related restrictions, Jozsef Varadi said.

No new launch date has yet been announced as Abu Dhabi remains closed to international tourists.

Delayed Wizz Air Abu Dhabi gets final nod to launch operations

According to a statement carried by state news agency WAM, the processes have been completed over the course of eight months, during a period of unprecedented crisis in the airline industry due to Covid-19, travel restrictions and lockdowns.

It added that Wizz Air demonstrated its operational capabilities to the GCAA during special demonstration flights conducted on board an Airbus A321 Neo.

“We congratulate Wizz Air for successfully obtaining the AOC after meeting all the required standards and passing all inspections. We are proud to add Wiz Air as a national carrier in the United Arab Emirates,” said Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, director general of the GCAA.

Delayed Wizz Air Abu Dhabi gets final nod to launch operations

Wizz Air Abu Dhabi hails arrival of first Airbus A321neo aircraft

More Airbus A321neo aircraft will join the Wizz Air Abu Dhabi fleet in the first six months of operations

Kees Van Schaick, managing director of Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, addedK “The issuance of the AOC marks the most important milestone for us as we have now received all regulatory approvals to operate the airline… We will offer our customers ultra-low fares… Our new airline, majority owned by our partner ADQ, will bring a lot of value to Abu Dhabi airport and the emirate of Abu Dhabi.

“We have one aircraft already there and another arriving in the next few days, but really we need Abu Dhabi to open up so that people can actually fly,” he said.

Flights to Abu Dhabi are currently limited by the government to returning local residents, and then only if they’ve recently tested negative for Covid-19, with people also required to self-quarantine for 14 days on arrival.

Wizz, Europe’s third-largest discount carrier, announced plans to expand its low-cost model to the Middle East in December.

Launch destinations will include Athens, Alexandria in Egypt, Larnaca on the island of Cyprus, Odessa in Ukraine, the Armenian capital Yerevan, and Kutaisi, Georgia, with expansion plans to have six Airbus A321neo aircraft within six months.

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Delayed Wizz Air Abu Dhabi gets final nod to launch operations
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