(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Air Arabia, the newly designated carrier of Ras al Khaimah, joined the emirate's tourism and aviation authorities to announce the operational details of its soon to open hub at the RAK International Airport, its fourth international base and second in the UAE.
During a joint press conference with the RAK Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) and the Tourism Development Authority, Air Arabia announced that starting May 6 it will offer direct services to eight routes from RAK International Airport, giving an immediate boost to the emirate's rapidly growing tourism sector.
In February, Air Arabia and the Ras al Khaimah Department of Civil Aviation entered into a long-term strategic partnership to significantly increase the number of destinations accessible to the residents of Ras al Khaimah and to bring more tourists within reach of the emirate. From its hub at the RAK International Airport, Air Arabia will follow exactly the same value-for-money business model as it does from its primary base in Sharjah.
Two new Airbus A320 aircraft will initially service regularly four times a week to the RAK International Airport from Muscat. Flights depart RAK International Airport on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, at 10:25, arriving at Muscat International Airport at 11:20. Return flights depart Muscat at 12:10, arriving in Ras al Khaimah at 13:05 local time. This schedule provides suitable onward connections for passengers travelling to Islamabad, Lahore and Peshawar in Pakistan, Dhaka in Bangladesh and Cairo in Egypt. In addition, Air Arabia alreadyflies to Sharjah in UAE, from Muscat and Salalah in Oman.
Engr Sheikh Salem bin Sultan al Qasimi, chairman, department of civil aviation (DCA), Ras al Khaimah, said, ''This important collaboration will give a major boost to the economic development of Ras al Khaimah and reinforces the growing excitement about the emirate as an investment destination.
''As our designated carrier, Air Arabia's operations will be a key component of a comprehensive strategy to develop a vibrant, distinct and sustainable tourism sector in Ras al Khaimah to rival the most established destinations in the region.'' Adel Ali, group chief executive officer of Air Arabia said, ''The increase in tourists and visitors entering Rasl al Khaimah suggests that a solid potential for developing the emirate travel and tourism sector exists.
This partnership offers enormous potential benefits not only to the local aviation industry, but to the overall economy. ''With our hubs in Sharjah and Ras al Khaimah, Air Arabia is well-positioned to cater to the travel needs of the Northern Emirates, a position we believe will deliver real value to our customers and shareholders while transforming the region's tourism sector by bringing millions of potential new visitors within just a few hours' reach.''
Established in October 2003, Air Arabia PJSC, listed on the Dubai Financial Market, currently operates services to 90 destinations covering the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and the Indian subcontinent from operating hubs in Sharjah, UAE; Alexandria, Egypt; Casablanca, Morocco; and now Ras al Khaimah, UAE