Etihad Airways and Air Arabia’s plan for a new discount airline will reportedly focus on flights between India and Abu Dhabi following the collapse of Jet Airways, although the airline has strongly denied the claims.
According to reports, the future carrier will take over most of the 100 slot pairs for the market held by Etihad after ally Jet failed this year, according to the plan originated by Air Arabia chief executive officer Adel Ali, Deepa Rajesh, sales director at the company’s Cozmo holiday arm, said in an interview.
Air Arabia, the Middle East’s biggest low-cost carrier, could deploy around 70% of the 100 short-haul jets it’s planning to order at the new venture, Rajesh said at the World Travel Market tourism fair in London.
Air Arabia Abu Dhabi may also serve Egypt, Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, she said.
Jet Airways, which was part-owned by Etihad, operated flights from nine Indian cities to Abu Dhabi before its demise, the executive said.
A statement issued from Air Arabia said that the company "categorically denies" the reports regarding ‘Air Arabia Abu Dhabi’ and its plans for future operations.
It said: "We have not issued any official statement regarding our growth strategy nor has any official interview taken place with any news agency. We are disappointed that distorted statements are made without any basis and disclaim any merit to the false report. We will announce growth plans as such when they are finalised and through our official channels."