Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, a budget airline, has revealed its plans to extend its services to India and neighbouring nations after marking its debut in the Pakistani market. Reportedly, the low-cost airline has received clearance from the government to initiate flights to and from Pakistan.
Experts have declared the airline’s decision as a strategic move to capitalize on the growing demand for air travel between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and South Asia. The UAE has been a favoured tourist destination for people from the region.
In a cabinet meeting, the government approved Wizz Air Abu Dhabi’s decision to operate in Pakistan. The operation of flights from Pakistan would serve consumers who travel to UAE on a regular basis for business, leisure or fun.
Wizz Air Abu Dhabi’s Managing Director, Johan Eidhagen, stated: “The airline will reveal the routes and flight schedules in the near future, following changes in the regulatory framework.”
Special offer for club members
The airline also invited frequent travellers to join the Wizz Discount Club, which will offer special airfare deals. The prices are expected to go as low as Dh 179. However, only club members will be eligible to avail of these discounted fares.
The Pakistan government’s decision to allow Wizz Air Abu Dhabi comes weeks after SunExpress was allowed to start operations in Pakistan. SunExpress, a joint venture between Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa has applied for starting operations in the country and after the completion of formalities, the airline would be airborne to serve travelers.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has received the request forwarded by the airline which would now be processed by the Aviation Division.
The Pakistan-UAE route is one of the busiest air routes in the region. It is due to the significant number of Pakistanis living and working in the UAE. Additionally, many tourists from Pakistan visit the Gulf country. Wizz Air Abu Dhabi’s entry into the market will provide affordable options.
Fastest growing aviation industry
Pakistan’s aviation industry is fast changing with closure of few airlines and entry of new players. A few months earlier, British airline Virgin Atlantic announced to close operations in Pakistan citing ‘low yield operations’ while Ethiopian Airlines announced to begin operations in the country. At present, carriers are facing challenges in repatriating dollars because of low foreign exchange reserves of the country.
Air carriers sell tickets in local currency but then they need to repatriate dollars to pay for expenses such as fuel and maintenance charges and certainly a delay in the process dents their financial balance.
Etihad Airways, Emirates, FlyDubai, and Air Arabia are currently operating flights on the Pakistan-UAE route. The entry of Wizz Air Abu Dhabi into the market is expected to give tough competition to these established airlines. Last year, Wizz Air transported over 1.2 million passengers on over 6,000 flights.
Passengers hail WIzz Air
The Travellers have hailed Wizz Air Abu Dhabi’s announcement of discounted fares as they have been bearing the brunt of skyrocketing prices of flight tickets. The Wizz Air Abu Dhabi move will strengthen ties between the two countries Pakistan and the UAE.
Wizz Air Abu Dhabi is a joint venture with state-owned ADQ (formerly, Abu Dhabi Developmental Holding Company-ADDH), which owns 51% with Wizz Air Holdings owning remaining 49%. The carrier’s first flight took off on the 19th of May 2004 from Katowice to London Luton and boasts a fleet of 153 ultramodern Airbus A320 family aircraft.