Air Arabia Abu Dhabi cleared to open Uzbekistan route

Air Arabia Abu Dhabi, the airline launched this summer by Air Arabia and Etihad Airways, has been granted permission to begin services to Uzbekistan.

On the basis of an air services agreement signed between the governments of Uzbekistan and the United Arab Emirates, the LCC has been approved to operate regular flights between Abu Dhabi (AUH) and Tashkent (TAS).

The flight schedule has yet to be confirmed, but the carrier intends to use Airbus A320s on the 2,308 km route, which is currently unserved.

Air Arabia Abu Dhabi began flying in July with its inaugural routes connecting AUH with two destinations in Egypt: Alexandria’s Borg Al Arab International (HBE) and Sohag (HMB), operating 3X-weekly and 1X-weekly respectively.

Since then, the airline has expanded its network to include Dhaka (DAC), the capital of Bangladesh, while daily service to Cairo (CAI) begins Sept. 24. OAG Schedules Analyser data shows the LCC also served Kabul (KBL) in Afghanistan during August and early September.

According to figures provided by Sabre Market Intelligence, O&D traffic between the United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan totaled 131,251 two-way passengers in 2019, a rise of 3.4% on the previous 12 months.

Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, Uzbekistan Airways operated a 5X-weekly service between TAS and Dubai (DXB) alongside a 2X-weekly route between TAS and Sharjah (SHJ), another emirate. LCC flydubai competed on TAS-DXB, also serving the destinations five times per week.

Air Arabia Abu Dhabi will next month face competition on its flights to HBE when Wizz Air Abu Dhabi begins operations. Although the launch date of Wizz Air Abu Dhabi has been pushed back two weeks to Oct. 16, the ULCC plans to fly to HBE alongside Athens (ATH); Kutaisi (KUT), Georgia; Larnaca (LCA), Cyprus; Odesa (ODS), Ukraine; and Yerevan (EVN), Armenia.

Photo credit: Air Arabia

David Casey

David Casey is Editor in Chief of Routes, the global route development community's trusted source for news and information.