RAK Airways eyes more India routes
Ras Al Khaimah, August 3, 2011
Top officials of RAK Airways, a leading airline of the UAE, met ministers of an Indian state to present the airline’s business case and seek support for increased flights to destinations in India from Ras Al Khaimah.
Omar Jahameh, the CEO of RAK Airways headed a delegation which put forward a wide range of fundamental reasons for increased flights, including the presence of a large Indian community in Ras Al Khaimah alongside, tourism and business opportunities between the two countries.
Jahameh said the initial meetings with the Chief Minister of the Indian state of Kerala and other government officials were very productive and there were discussions about services to Kochi, Trivandrum and Mangalore.
“RAK Airways re-launched its operations less than a year ago and has surprised and delighted the market with its success over this short period,” he said.
“We have witnessed fast-growing demand for RAK Airways flights from all sectors of the UAE community locally and beyond the borders of Ras Al Khaimah. As a consequence we have quickly grown our route network to six destinations which include: Calicut, Jeddah, Cairo, Dhaka, Doha and Chittagong.”
“Due to the heavy demand, the frequency of flights to Calicut was quickly increased to five flights a week from its initial three,” Jahameh added.
“The airline’s attractive UAE Visa Package along with its low fares has proved extremely popular with the Indian expatriate community in the UAE. The UAE Visa Package, which offers a visitor visa along with RAK Airways return airfare, has also been very positively received, with many residents using this package to bring their families and friends to the UAE for a short break,” he continued.
“The objective of our meeting with senior Indian officials was to highlight the continued, overwhelming demand for RAK Airways services to additional destinations in India, and to seek their support in approving our request to operate to Kochi and Trivandrum in Kerala along with other strategic Indian destinations.”
Jahameh said the UAE is home to more than two million Indians of whom almost 25 per cent live and work in the airline’s northern home Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. They currently face journeys of anything between two hours and four hours by road to reach an airport and airline in the UAE that serves destinations in India other than Calicut.
“Couple this with a 2-3 hour check in time it becomes a very arduous journey, especially for families,” said Jahameh. “Customers are subsequently appealing to us to increase frequency and destinations in the Indian sub-continent and we in turn, are making our appeal to the relevant Indian Ministries.”
“From a business perspective, we highlighted to the Minister that the UAE is an excellent investment destination for India. Already more than 1000 Indian companies are operating out of Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone alone, where the majority of investors are from Kerala, Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmadabad and Hyderabad,” he added.
“The Government of India has been strongly pitching for greater investment from the UAE, asking the country to be a part of its growth story in all sectors and Ras Al Khaimah’s existing track record in helping businesses set up and run successful operations makes it an excellent choice from which to take commerce to the next level,” continued Jahameh.
“Outbound tourism into India has strong potential. Medical tourism and leisure holidays are especially important to the southern states,” added Jahameh.
“In light of all the above we were pleased to be granted this opportunity to engage in direct dialogue with the Chief Minister, who listened to our concerns, and we hope for an outcome that is in the best interests of all concerned ” he concluded. – TradeArabia News Service