by Patrick Whyte, Skift, – Jan 29, 2020 8:15 am
Wizz Air is looking east rather than west for further expansion in the wake of an ambitious move to establish a Middle East subsidiary.
The airline is partnering with the state-owned Abu Dhabi Development Holding Company to create a joint venture that will start operating sometime in the second half of 2020. The announcement was somewhat surprising given that Etihad Airways is setting up its own low-cost carrier in partnership with Air Arabia.
It doesn’t necessarily mean more joint ventures will follow but it does seem to be part of a shift in perspective for the airline, which has risen to become a dominant player across much of Central and Eastern Europe.
“I think Abu Dhabi is a unique opportunity for Wizz. I mean, structurally, we are very excited about opportunities going further east and we are more excited going further east than going west,” CEO József Váradi, said on Wizz Air’s third quarter earnings call on Wednesday.