The launch of Wizz Air’s Abu Dhabi arm could pay dividends for the low-cost carrier by tapping into underserved markets and support the emirate by stimulating inbound tourism. This recent development reinforces the necessity for low-cost competition, and the airline will support the stimulation of leisure demand to the UAE during and post-COVID-19, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
Gus Gardner, Travel and Tourism Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Wizz Air’s launch will certainly disrupt the market, offering competitive fares and opening up underserved destinations that could bear fruit for the airline. Abu Dhabi has long been a market dominated by full-service carriers, with Etihad Airways being the largest player. Low-cost competition has been limited to inbound airlines, often only serving one city pair, and the market has been in desperate need of low-cost disruption.”
According to GlobalData’s latest COVID-19 Recovery Survey*, a staggering 87% of respondents were ‘extremely’, ‘quite’, or ‘slightly’ concerned about their personal financial position. The carrier’s ability to target price-conscious travelers will allow the city to better capture those who may put off travel due to financial concerns.
Gardner continues: “Wizz Air will support Abu Dhabi’s tourism recovery post-COVID-19. The airline’s ability to offer some of the lowest fares will help address the largest deterrent to travel – affordability. The airline’s affordable connectivity, and ability to undercut its competitors’ fares, is likely to increase the attractiveness of Abu Dhabi as a tourist destination and could be pivotal to supporting the emirate’s recovery efforts. This situation will be a win-win for both the emirate and the airline, and could allow for quicker recovery timelines in the process. Abu Dhabi could now be better equipped to compete with its nearest competitor – Dubai.”
The airline’s success in Europe will be extremely beneficial in its efforts to disrupt the market in Abu Dhabi.
Gardner concludes: “The ultra-low fares offered by the airline will stimulate demand in new markets and provide much-needed competition on high fare routes. Wizz Air is well-positioned to become a low-cost leader, and entering a market with little low-cost competition could provide big rewards.”
* Data taken from GlobalData’s survey of 5,766 global respondents- Fieldwork undertaken 2–6 December 2020