Etihad Aviation Group has partnered Air Arabia (G9, Sharjah) in the launch of Air Arabia Abu Dhabi, an independent low-cost carrier based out of Abu Dhabi Int'l.

A statement issued on Wednesday, October 16 said the new LCC will complement Etihad Airways' services from Abu Dhabi and will cater to the growing low-cost travel market segment in the region. The new company's board of directors will consist of members nominated by Etihad and Air Arabia who will collectively steer the company’s independent strategy and business mandate.

No timeframes for the launch of the project were given.

“Abu Dhabi is a thriving cultural hub with a clear economic vision built on sustainability and diversification. With the emirate’s diverse attractions and hospitality offerings, travel and tourism play a vital role in the economic growth of the capital and the UAE. By partnering with Air Arabia and launching Abu Dhabi’s first low-cost carrier, we are serving this long-term vision," Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said.

Adel Al Ali, Group Chief Executive Officer, Air Arabia, said: “Home to the first low-cost carrier in the MENA region, the UAE has developed over the years to become a world-leading travel and tourism hub. We are thrilled to partner with Etihad to establish Air Arabia Abu Dhabi that will further serve the growing low-cost travel segment locally and regionally while capitalising on the expertise that Air Arabia and Etihad will be providing”.

For its part, Air Arabia operates across three AOCs from three major hubs; Sharjah for its UAE licence, Alexandria Borg el Arab for Air Arabia Egypt (E5, Alexandria Borg el Arab), and Casablanca Int'l for Air Arabia Maroc (3O, Casablanca Int'l). The firm operates a singular Airbus narrowbody fleet entailing thirty-nine A320-200s and two A321neo(LR)s in the UAE, three A320-200s in Egypt, and ten A320-200s in Morocco.