Photo: Dirk Grothe

MIAMI – Wizz Air Abu Dhabi (5W) has received a long-awaited Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), certifying the carrier, a subsidiary of Wizz Air Holdings, for operation.

While the launch of the carrier is in limbo due to prevailing COVID-19 border restrictions, in a statement 5W said that the certification process proceeded efficiently.

5W had initially intended to start operations on October 1, but is now set to begin in mid-November.

Wizz Air Abu Dhabi Airbus A321neo Photo: Dirk Grothe

A Low Cost Contender

5W, having taken delivery of 2 Airbus A321neo aircraft, plans to eventually expand the fleet to a size of 50 aircraft within 10 years, potentially staking out a presence as the most prominent, non Middle Eastern low cost carrier with a base in the UAE.

Primarily aiming to connect Europeans to the UAE for low cost holidays, the carrier intends to operate between Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) in UAE and Larnaca (LCA) in Cyprus, Athens International Airport (ATH) in Greece, Yerevan Zvartnots International Airport (EVN) in Armenia, Odesa International Airport (ODS) in Ukraine, and Kutaisi International Airport (KUT) in Georgia.

5W also plans on initiating operations to Egypt, connecting Alexandria Borg El Arab Airport (HBE) with AUH.

While the launch of 5W is proving to be a slow process, the AOC represents a step forward for an airline with a potential to disrupt low cost travel between Europe and the Middle East, perhaps even within the Middle East.

Featured image: Dirk Grothe