After launching their subsidiary in Abu Dhabi, the CEO of Wizz Air is only waiting for the region’s air transport market to open up so that they could become an important factor in the area, including the introduction of flights to India from the region, for instance.
József Váradi, the CEO of Wizz Air, talked to Forbes magazine about his ambitious plans with the subsidiary recently started in Abu Dhabi. The first route leads to Athens, but 7 further itineraries are featured in their plans: Alexandria, Kutaisi, Larnaca, Odesa, Tel Aviv, Thessaloniki, and Yerevan.
Moreover, Wizz Air flies to the Emirates from Budapest, Bucharest, Katowice, and Sofia, but these flights are operated by the company registered in Hungary, the same way as their recently announced new summer route flying from Poland to Bulgaria.
Váradi said that in the long-run, the subsidiary would develop its point-to-point flight system in countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC),
though this requires quite a lot of legislative work. Most importantly because the area comprising Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrein, and Oman has been stalling on opening up the air traffic among each other in a model similar to the example of the inner functioning of the EU for almost 10 years, writes airportal.hu.
According to Józef Váradi, this would mean that a flight company registered in one of the countries of the region would have the possibility to set up a base in another country.
It is Wizz Air’s mission to become an important airline in the Middle East in the next 15 years.
He thinks that the region would also economically benefit from this, as well as from a possible Treaty on Open Skies signed with the European Union. As Váradi said, the latter would also be beneficial for Israel, and the decision-makers now protecting their own markets will see it, too.
He also complimented the emirates of Abu Dhabi for welcoming other low-cost airlines, apart from their own monopole company, Etihad. He thinks that conventional network airlines serve a certain group of people very well, but they are not able to attract new passengers, for which low-cost airlines are perfect.
The local subsidiary of Wizz Air has to share the market with another low-cost company registered in Abu Dhabi, the local affiliate of Air Arabia, which was started last July with a 51% share owned by Etihad.
However, Váradi says that this makes the market of local air transportation more colourful. “Hats off to Abu Dhabi for taking this step,” he says.
He then goes on adding that, although, for now, they are expanding towards the West and Air Arabia towards the East, the Indian market is also among the aspirations of Wizz Air.