A Wizz Air flight from Budapest Hungary arrives in Dubai Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: Wizz Air, the largest low-cost airline in central and eastern Europe, announced on Sunday five new lost cost routes from Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH).

The routes will connect Abu Dhabi with Budapest and Bucharest from June 2020 and with Cluj-Napoca, Katowice and Sofia from September 2020, subject to aviation activities being resumed in the respective countries.

It is intended that Wizz Air will focus on establishing routes to markets in which Wizz Air has existing, high growth operations, namely central and eastern and western Europe, as well as the Indian subcontinent, Middle East and Africa, over the long run.

“These new routes positively reflect the industry’s resilience and its capability to continue pushing forward with bold plans that will stimulate consumer demand and the sustained recovery of the aviation market,” said Shareef Al Hashmi, chief executive officer of Abu Dhabi Airports.

These services will be the first direct routes between Abu Dhabi and Budapest, Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Katowice and Sofia adding an almost 220 thousand seat capacity to the airline’s Abu Dhabi network per year. Flights are already on sale and can be booked at wizzair.com from as low as 59.99 Euros.

In the case of travel bans, imposed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, impacting the start date of the flights, the passengers with bookings for the affected flights will have a chance to rebook for a later date, get full cash refund or 120% of the value of the booking in WIZZ Credit that can be used for purchase of WIZZ flights and services.

“Today’s announcement underpins our long term dedication to bringing low fares combined with a high quality onboard experience to ever more customers in Abu Dhabi,” said Jozsef Varadi, CEO of Wizz Air Holdings.

“Wizz Air’s mission feeds into Abu Dhabi’s diversified economic strategy as we continue to stimulate traffic by creating demand to the benefit of growing Abu Dhabi’s touristic and economic diversity,” he added.

Wizz Air Abu Dhabi

The announcement supplements the agreement in March formalising the establishment of Wizz Air Abu Dhabi as a local airline based in Abu Dhabi in partnership between ADQ and Wizz Air.

The new airline – Abu Dhabi’s second low cost carrier – will start its own operations in the fourth quarter of this year, as the airline moves ahead with its plans without delay.

“Wizz Air Abu Dhabi aims to launch operations in the fourth quarter of this calendar year as well as working on scaling up the launch plan, while being in progress of obtaining regulatory approval from the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority,” Wizz Air Holdings said in a statement to Gulf News.

“We firmly believe that lowest cost always wins. Our ultra low cost model allows for ultra low fares to stimulate consumer demand,” it added, stating the airline was confident in demand for low cost options once travel restrictions loosen up.