Fujairah's first budget airline will take to the skies on October 1.
Kang Pacific Airlines (KPA) will initially shuttle passengers between Fujairah and three key countries; the UK, India, and the Philippines, primarily providing affordable travel for VFR traffic, but also with the intention of bringing in UK holidaymakers to stay at Fujairah's growing number of resorts.
The inaugural flight will from Fujairah to Manila, via the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka. Other routes to follow will include East Midlands Airport (the UK) via Fujairah to Amritsar in India Punjab.
"We have identified gaps in the market for these routes," said KPA's chairman and CEO, Paul Kang. "The East Midlands sector targets the huge Punjabi immigrant community in Birmingham in the West Midlands; Derby, Leicester and Nottingham in the East Midlands; and Manchester in the North West region, that traditionally travel to India for regular holidays, family visits, marriages and festivals."
KPA will fly a wet-leased wide-body Boeing DC-10 aircraft (380-passenger capacity) on the Fujairah-Dhaka-Manila sector three times weekly. The aircraft will make the return flight the next day via Kochi in South India and Colombo in Sri Lanka.
Kang is currently negotiating the lease of either a wide-body Boeing 747 (548 seats) or an Airbus A310 (212 seats) to serve the East Midlands route. By the end of 2007, KPA will expand to cover destinations in the Middle East, starting with Bahrain and Kuwait and eventually including Doha, Muscat, Damascus and Cairo.
Kang intends to purchase a 122-seater Boeing 737 to serve regional destinations. He has also deployed four coaches to take passenger free-of-charge to Sharjah, Ajman, Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah and Umm Al Quwain.
Kang said KPA's holiday company, Paul Kang & Son, currently operated "a wide range of businesses" in the UK, but had spent US $10 million relocating to Fujairah where he has already established a duty free operation out of Fujairah Port and Fujairah Free Zone.
It is estimated that 60% of KPA's air tickets will be sold online, particularly as UK residents are accustomed to booking flights this way.
The remaining 60% will be sold through GSAs and wholesalers that will be linked to Kang's custom-made reservation system.