The UAE's fourth commercial carrier RAK Airways has finally launched its international services following months of setbacks.
The inaugural flight to Beirut left Ras al Khaimah International Airport on November 29, followed by two other services to Dhaka and Colombo on November 30.
A fourth service is set to operate from RAK to Sofia in Bulgaria from December 9.
"We are making history in the region," said RAK Airways chief operating officer Captain Khalid Almeer. "It is very rare for an airline to operate to more than one destination when it launches - but RAK Airways launched three destinations within 24 hours of its first flight."
The carrier will operate three weekly flights to Beirut, Dhaka and Colombo, and one weekly service to Sofia, and expects to carry 80-100,000 passengers in its first 12 months of operation.
RAK Airways also plans to unveil more destinations including Qatar, Nepal, Tanzania and locations across the Indian Subcontinent during the course of the next two to three months, added Captain Almeer.
According to HH Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasma, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Ras al Khaimah, the boom in tourism, industry and investment in the emirate had driven an increase in demand for an additional gateway to the UAE.
"A lot of people are shying away from big airports because of the hassle. I think there is a lot of potential for us to take a piece of that market," he said.
Passengers would comprise leisure traffic from RAK and the surrounding areas, as well as some business and VRF traffic, he added.For all the latest travel 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.
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