New UAE low cost carrier Air Arabia Abu Dhabi gets 'operating certificate'
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New UAE low cost carrier Air Arabia Abu Dhabi gets ‘operating certificate’

New UAE low cost carrier Air Arabia Abu Dhabi gets ‘operating certificate’

The airline said it will work to finalise the launch date depending on when “market conditions improve and skies are open again”


Air Arabia Abu Dhabi, the UAE capital’s first low-cost carrier, has received its ‘Air Operating Certificate’ (AOC), which allows it to begin operations from Abu Dhabi.

The AOC indicates that the new airline has the required professional capabilities, adheres to all the safety regulations needed for aircraft operations and has been proven fit-to-fly following the completion of inspections by the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), a statement said.

Air Arabia Abu Dhabi, the fifth UAE national airline, will continue to work with the GCAA to finalise the launch date as “market conditions improve and skies are open again”, it said.

Read: Update: Air Arabia denies reports that it is delaying launch of low-cost carrier

The carrier was formed last year following an agreement between Etihad Airways and Air Arabia to establish an independent joint venture company that will operate as a low-cost passenger airline with the Abu Dhabi International Airport as its hub.

The new airline is aimed at catering to the growing low-cost travel market segment in the region.

Read: Etihad, Air Arabia to launch Abu Dhabi’s first low-cost carrier

Tony Douglas, group CEO, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “Despite these unprecedented times…we are pushing ahead with our plans to resume normal flying and once we have, Air Arabia Abu Dhabi will ideally serve those who wish to explore new destinations from the capital, meeting the growing demand for low-cost travel in the region and complementing Etihad’s own global network.”

Adel Al Ali, group CEO, Air Arabia, added: “While the spread of Covid-19 continues to impact the global economy including the aviation industry, we are confident that the industry shall overcome today’s challenges and will emerge stronger. Obtaining the AOC during this time reflects our commitment and readiness to launch Air Arabia Abu Dhabi operations as soon as skies and airports open and customers can fly again.”

Air Arabia Abu Dhabi has been assigned the reservation code 3L by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a severe impact on the aviation industry. According to the IATA, passenger revenues are expected to drop by 55 per cent – less $314bn  – when compared to 2019. Airlines are estimated to burn through about $61bn in liquidity in the second quarter alone as demand plummets by 80 per cent or more.


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