Etihad Airways and Air Arabia’s plan for a new discount airline will focus on flights between India and Abu Dhabi following the collapse of Jet Airways, reported Bloomberg.
Deepa Rajesh, Sales Director at Air Arabia’s Cozmo holiday arm, said that the future carrier will take over most of the 100 slot pairs for the market held by Etihad after ally Jet Airways failed earlier this year, according to the plan originated by Air Arabia Chief Executive Officer Adel Ali.
Air Arabia, the Middle East’s biggest low-cost carrier, could deploy around 70 per cent of the 100 short-haul jets it’s planning to order at the new venture, said Rajesh.
Air Arabia Abu Dhabi may also serve Egypt, Turkey as well as Jordan and Lebanon.
Jet Airways, which was part-owned by Etihad, operated flights from nine Indian cities to Abu Dhabi before its demise. Replacing those services will help feed vital traffic from the world’s fastest-growing major travel market onto Etihad’s long-haul planes as it works to halt losses.
Air Arabia has its main base in Sharjah and another in Ras Al Khaimah as well as units in Morocco, Egypt and Jordan.
Tony Douglas, Etihad’s Group Chief Executive Officer, said, “The partnership with Air Arabia supports our transformation programme and will offer our guests a new option for low-cost travel to and from Abu Dhabi, supplementing our own services.”
Additionally, the UAE’s travel and tourism sector contribute to over 13.3 per cent of the GDP.