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Abu Dhabi will get a new low-cost airline next week

Jan. 04, 2021
3 min read
Abu Dhabi will get a new low-cost airline next week
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Wizz Air’s new Abu Dhabi unit will commence operations on Jan. 15. The ultra-low-cost airline will operate its first of three weekly flights from Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Athens (ATH).

The first route to Athens, which is offering fares from as low as $35 one-way, will operate on the following schedule:

  • Abu Dhabi (AUH) 12:30 p.m. Departure ⇒ Athens (ATH) 4:15 p.m. Arrival
  • Athens (ATH) 4:50 p.m. Departure ⇒ Abu Dhabi (AUH) 11:30 p.m. Arrival

As of Feb. 4, Wizz Air Abu Dhabi will then launch a second service from its hub at AUH to Thessaloniki. In the coming months, the airline will also launch flights to Alexandria, Kutaisi, Larnaca, Odessa and Yerevan.

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According to Cirium data, the Abu Dhabi-based airline has three A321neo aircraft in its fleet and an additional aircraft on order.

The Hungary-based Wizz Air is hoping to recreate its low-cost success in the UAE. Just over a year ago, Wizz Air announced that it would be expanding to the UAE, however, because of the coronavirus pandemic, those plans had been delayed.

Originally set to launch in October, the new airline will first take to the skies on Jan. 15. At launch, its rollout will be restricted to countries that currently allow for quarantine-free travel from Abu Dhabi.

In the future, Wizz CEO Jozsef Varadi said that the Middle Eastern unit could operate as many as 100 aircraft one day. While at launch, it’s focussing on routes from the Middle East to Europe and Asia, it plans to expand that footprint to South Asia as well as to India and Africa.

The introduction of Wizz Air Abu Dhabi into the market will be a rare sight in the UAE. In a market dominated by the big three Middle Eastern carriers — Qatar, Emirates and Abu Dhabi — Wizz Air Abu Dhabi hopes to target a segment of the market looking for a no-strings, low-cost experience. Last year, Air Arabia Abu Dhabi, a joint venture between Abu Dhabi-based Etihad and low-cost Air Arabia, also launched in the market.

In Europe, Wizz Air has been expanding at a rapid rate — even amid the coronavirus pandemic upending the travel and aviation industries. The carrier has opened a new base and launched new routes from Doncaster Sheffield, opened a new base at London Gatwick, expanded service to the Canary Islands and more.

Related: Why one low-cost airline is expanding in the UK despite the pandemic

In the midst of a global pandemic, Wizz Air sees the opportunity for growth — in the U.K., throughout Europe and soon from the Middle East.

Featured image by PORTO, PORTUGAL - 2019/04/29: A Wizz Aircraft Airbus 320 seen at Sa Carneiro airport. (Photo by Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

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  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

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  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

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  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

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  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases