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Sun 1 Oct 2006 04:00 AM

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RAK Airways looks at alliance opportunities

RAK Airways is expected to join an alliance within the next three to four years, according to the airline’s chief executive officer.

The Ras Al Khaimah airline is currently approaching alliances and lobbying for membership, despite the possibility of “being laughed at” because it has not launched or established itself in the industry.

“Alliances are looking for safety and security, quality to passengers, branding built on high productivity and effi ciency. I know this isn’t going to happen on day one,” Jack Romero, RAK Airways’ chief executive officer, told Aviation Business during the 12th World Route Development Forum.

RAK Airways is expected to begin operations from November. Initially the airline’s fleet will consist of two aircraft flying short haul to the Indian sub-continent. This will include a 16-year old Boeing 737-300 (purchased for US$8 million) and a six-year old Boeing 757-200 (a $33 million plane leased from Spanish carrier Iberia).

The airline plans to increase its fleet by approximately one or two aircraft a year. “Depending on the performance of our aircraft, we will operate between seven and ten planes within a five-year period,” said Romero.

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