Route Analysis: Abu Dhabi-Tel Aviv

The United Arab Emirates’ newest airline is set to begin flying to Israel.

AUH-TLV

Carrier:

Wizz Air Abu Dhabi

Aircraft:

Airbus A321neo

Frequency:

4X-weekly (daily from March 1)

Start date:

Feb. 12, 2021

Distance:

2,107 km

O&D traffic demand (2019):

1,166

Annual growth:

47%

Average base fare (2019):

$424.12

Wizz Air Abu Dhabi has revealed plans to launch a third route from the emirate. The airline, a joint venture between the Hungarian ULCC and Abu Dhabi state holding company ADQ, intends to add flights from Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Tel Aviv (TLV) from Feb. 12.

Service will initially be 4X-weekly, increasing to daily from March 1.

Details of the route have been confirmed as Wizz Air Abu Dhabi begins commercial operations today (Jan. 15) with flights to Athens (ATH). A second route to Greece starts on Feb. 4, connecting AUH with Thessaloniki (SKG). Both routes will be served twice a week.

The ULCC intended to begin flying on Oct. 1, 2020 with six routes to Alexandria (HBE) in Egypt, Kutaisi (KUT) in Georgia, Larnaca (LCA) in Cyprus, Odesa (ODS) in Ukraine, and Yerevan (EVN) in Armenia, alongside ATH.

“We most welcome the opportunity to contribute to Abu Dhabi’s efforts to provide a new segment of travel in the UAE in line with its socio-economic vision,” Wizz Air CEO József Váradi said. “We are looking forward to working in strategic partnership with our stakeholders in Abu Dhabi for the benefits of the country by opening up new travel options for residents and tourists.”

Nonstop flights between the United Arab Emirates and Israel have only recently started after the two nations last August reached an agreement to normalize relations, becoming only the third Israel-Arab peace deal since Israel's declaration of independence in 1948. A treaty, which recognizes each state’s sovereignty, was signed on Sept. 15. 

Since the detente, three airlines have already entered the UAE-Israel market, with Flydubai offering 2X-daily flights between Dubai International (DXB) and TLV alongside Israir’s 3X-weekly service and El Al Israel Airlines’ 2X-weekly flights. Wizz Air Abu Dhabi will become the first to fly AUH-TLV although Etihad will launch a daily direct service on March 28.

O&D traffic between Israel and the UAE totaled 13,486 two-way passengers in 2019, Sabre Market Intelligence data shows, with Amman (AMM), Jordan and then Turkish airports Istanbul Airport (IST) and Sabiha Gökçen (SAW) the top three connecting markets.

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