Photo: Dirk Grothe

MIAMI – Newly-formed Wizz Air Abu Dhabi (5W) kicked off operations on Friday with a flight from Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Athens (ATH).

The airline had received a crucial Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) back in October 2020 while taking delivery of some of the Airbus A321neo aircraft that encompass the 5W fleet in August 2020.

Following the inaugural ATH flight, 5W plans on launching Thessaloniki (SKG) flights on February 4, expanding first within Greece as which until today was a so-called “green” country. The color code is how the Abu Dhabi authorities describe countries that are safe to travel to regarding COVID-19.

Eventually, 5W plans on expanding to Alexandria (HBE) in Egypt, Larnaca (LCA) in Cyprus, Odesa (ODS) in Ukraine, Kutaisi (KUT) in Georgia, and Yerevan (EVN) in Armenia from the AUH base.

Wizz Air Abu Dhabi Airbus A321neo at the Airbus facility in Hamburg (XFW). Photo: Dirk Grothe/Airways

Bold New Frontier

Wizz Chairman József Váradi described “Abu Dhabi as a bold new frontier for ultra-low fare travel in the region” before adding that 5W is glad to “contribute to Abu Dhabi’s effors to provide a new segment of travel in the UAE in line with its socio-economic vision.”

The chairman also highlighted 5W as “opening up new travel options for residents and tourists” from AUH. By launching at AUH, 5W avoids some competition from other low cost carriers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) like FlyDubai (FZ) out of Dubai (DXB) and Air Arabia (G9) out of Sharjah (SHJ).

In an interview with Airways, Mr. Váradi previously described how the airline will expand upon a point to point instead of a hub and spoke system out of AUH and is eventually planning on purchasing “long range aircraft” enabling 8 hour flights.

With hopes to eventually have a fleet of over 50 aircraft, 5W has a long way to go but has already begun expanding low cost service while forging connections between the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Africa.

Featured image: Dirk Grothe/Airways