Middle Eastern carrier Etihad Airways is considering the possibility of developing its own low-fare airline, although the company has not laid down any formal plans.
The Abu Dhabi-based operator says it is studying the option but is not intending to establish such a division in the near future.
“It’s something that many full-service airlines have either introduced or considered, and we’re in the latter category,” says a spokesman for Etihad, which has recently moved into narrowbody operations with Airbus A320 aircraft.
Interest in budget operations has steadily increased in the Middle East region, following the success of Sharjah-based Air Arabia and Kuwait’s Jazeera Airways.
Air Arabia in particular has capitalised on the traffic potential of the ethnic labour market by developing strong links to the Indian subcontinent.
Low-cost carriers have since emerged in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, all of them serving United Arab Emirates routes, while Etihad rival Emirates is to assist with the creation of a Dubai-based budget airline.
Source: Air Transport Intelligence news