Wizz Air, the Budapest-based low-cost carrier that touts itself as Europe’s greenest airline, is entering a partnership with Abu Dhabi Development Holding Company. As the largest low-cost airline in Central and Eastern Europe, it plans to offer bottom basement rates on flights from that region as well as the India subcontinent to the Arabian Gulf.
The joint venture and operations are expected to get underway in the second half of 2020. The airline 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. The partnership was formed under the assumption that the establishment of a truly ultra-low cost airline in Abu Dhabi can contribute to the continued growth of Abu Dhabi as a world-class cultural and tourist destination.
With a fleet composed entirely of fuel-efficient Airbus A321neo aircraft, Wizz Air Abu Dhabi will gain access to markets with a total of 5 billion customers across Europe and beyond. Wizz Air will be the sixth airline to fly from the UAE after Etihad Airways, Emirates, Air Arabia, Flydubai and Air Arabia Abu Dhabi.
The carrier has been in the news recently for brash statements made to the airline industry on how business class cabins operated by most airlines contribute to the erosion of the environment by the end to end footprint created by catering to the business class traveler. The airline confronted British Airways, Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines in a tweet that said: “We need to talk.”
The airline released this statement to make its point:
“Business class should be banned on every short haul flight. These business class passengers account for twice the carbon footprint of an economy class passenger, and the industry is guilty of preserving an inefficient and archaic model. A rethink is long overdue. Wizz Air calls on fellow airlines to commit to a total ban on business class travel for any flight of at least less than five hours. The age of old school travel is over, just like business class.”
The airline claims to be the greenest airline in Europe and with an impressive 56g CO2 produced per passenger/km. However, its seats are noted to be tiny, allowing it to fly more passengers. It sells frequency with a high load factor.
The airline is adding to its unconventional approach to flying with the possibility of a subscription service. Although mostly rumor for now, the carrier is considering a month fee for a pass that allows unlimited flights on most of the routes.
Wizz Air currently offers more than 700 routes from 25 bases, connecting 153 destinations across 44 countries. A team of more than 5,000 aviation professionals delivers superior service and very low fares. The company operated one of the youngest fleets in the world with A321neo aircraft fitted with 239 seats.