Air Arabia Abu Dhabi to fly when 'market improves'

UAE aviation regulator awards air operating certificate to Air Arabia Abu Dhabi, a joint-venture between Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways and Sharjah’s Air Arabia

Air Arabia Abu Dhabi has been assigned the reservation code 3L by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). 

Air Arabia Abu Dhabi, the capital’s first low-cost carrier, will start operations once the market conditions improve, the airline’s co-founders said today. 

UAE’s aviation regulator has awarded the air operating certificate (AOC) to the new airline, which makes it the country’s fifth carrier. The approval means the new carrier – a joint-venture between Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways and Sharjah’s Air Arabia – can start operations. 

However, the airline said in statement today that it “will continue to work closely with the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) to finalise the launch date as market conditions improve and skies are open again”. 

The new carrier will operate from Abu Dhabi International Airport, and is expected to “complement the services of Etihad Airways and cater to the growing low-cost travel market segment in the region”.

Tony Douglas, group chief executive officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said, “We are pushing ahead with our plans to resume normal flying and once we have, Air Arabia Abu Dhabi will ideally serve those who wish to explore new destinations from the capital.”

He added, “Our partnership with Air Arabia will bring exceptional value for passengers, and we look forward to the start of operations once the skies open up again.”

Adel Al Ali, group chief executive officer, Air Arabia, said he is confident that the industry will overcome the Covid-19 challenges and emerge stronger.

“Obtaining the AOC during this time reflects our commitment and readiness to launch Air Arabia Abu Dhabi operations as soon as skies and airports open and customers can fly again,” he said.

Air Arabia Abu Dhabi has been assigned the reservation code 3L by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). 

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