By Andy Sambidge
Emirate signs agreement with low cost airline following last month's collapse of RAK Airways
Air Arabia will become the official carrier of Ras Al Khaimah following the collapse of RAK Airways last month.
Under an agreement announced on Sunday, RAK's Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) has signed a strategic partnership with low cost airline Air Arabia.
The deal will enable the airline to become the emirate's designated carrier operating services from Ras Al Khaimah International Airport, a statement said.
"The launch of partnership between the low-cost pioneer and the Department of Civil Aviation, RAK is expected to support Ras Al Khaimah's standing as an attractive tourist destination, while acting as a key catalyst for the further economic development of the Emirate," the statement added.
RAK Airways suspended all of its flights with immediate effect last month as the airline buckled under the pressure of financial constraints.
The UAE airline, which previously ceased operations for the two years following the 2009 financial crisis, said that its services had been grounded by increased costs and regional instability.
Describing the partnership as a "unique collaboration", Sheikh Salem Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, chairman, DCA Ras Al Khaimah said: "We are delighted to be entering into a strategic agreement with an extremely successful airline and are confident about the benefits this partnership will bring to the Emirate of Ras al Khaimah."
He added: "As Ras Al Khaimah continues to position itself as an attractive tourist destination, we are confident that this partnership will help us achieve our long-term goals, benefiting from Air Arabia 's operational track record, impressive network and management expertise."
Adel Ali, Group CEO of Air Arabia said: "Joining hands with DCA, Ras Al Khaimah in this new partnership aims at further developing the aviation industry in the northern Emirates and support Ras Al Khaimah's ambitious economic plans. The Emirate's tourism sector is witnessing a strong and steady growth and we are optimistic that this will continue to grow in the years to come."
He added: "The major collaboration is a true reflection of the strength of the UAE aviation infrastructure and potential growth. Furthermore, we are extremely confident that the launch of Air Arabia 's operations in Ras Al Khaimah Airport will further transform the travel and tourism sectors in the Emirate as well as provide customers with great accessibility and value for money air travel."
Air Arabia, listed on the Dubai Financial Market, currently operates services to 90 destinations covering the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and the Indian Subcontinent from three operating hubs in Sharjah, UAE; Alexandria, Egypt; and Casablanca, Morocco.For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
The strategic partnership between Air Arabia and Ras al Khaimah civil aviation authority is the most prudent decision which will help Ras Al Khaimah to present itself as a tourist destination and will provide Air Arabia as one more hub within UAE. Its a win-win situation for both and should enthuse the air Arabia travellers in the region. Initially, Air Arabia will have to keep its fares from Ras Al Khaimah low to encourage travel from the remotely located airport.
Good for Air Arabia, Smart move .....
Nice cheerful news for us in RAK... God bless Air Arabia..
RAK deserves to really blossom and I do so hope that it does. I have been enjoying wondeful trips to its shores for years to luxurious hotels such as The Cove & Hilton Resort. For now this is s good tie up but perhaps when things really stabilise then RAK will muster up its own carrier once again.
This deal will change the face & Pace of Ras Al Khiamah....Expecting a big change!
congratulation for the historic new step: Radhakrishnan.RAK
Nice cheerful news for us in RAK, Smart move .
Yes- this was so needed in RAK as we travel all the way to DXB or SHJ for international travel, iam sure coming years we will have more airlines lined up and RAK AIRPORT will grow tremendously, Air Arabia made a very smart move, they need to cover all places around the world from RAK- Good Luck :)
Congratulations Airarabia & Rak civil aviation.
It will help many people who were in Rak & Shj.