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Abu Dhabi Plans UAE’s Third Low Cost Airline

ImageAbu Dhabi is planning to introduce a third low cost airline to the UAE, following Dubai based flyDubai and Sharjah’s Air Arabia.  Joint managing director of Big Pond Aviation said the Middle East is still ‘playing catch up’ with the rest of the world as far as low cost carriers go.  David J. Bentley said “The rest of the world is moving on with the continuing evolution of the hybrid model that superficially keeps costs and prices low while catering for the needs of business travelers.”

The low-cost end of the market has grown significantly in the Gulf, along with premium airlines.  Six new carriers have been established in six years, including Air Arabia in Sharjah, Kuwait’s Jazeera Airways, and Saudi Arabia’s Sama Airlines.  Abu Dhabi must compete with Dubai in Sharjah for the low cost segment,  and other smaller airports will soon offer competition, such as Al-Ain and Fujairah.  Low cost airlines focus on inter-regional routes and have established regional networks, such as Air Arabia’s Arabia in Morocco.

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