Posted by Bob Brunskill
RAK Airways, the state-owned airline of Ras Al Khaimah, has confirmed it will restart operations on October 10th as it looks to drive tourism in the emirate.
Chairman Sheikh Omar Bin Saqr Al Qassimi announced that the airline will start with two destinations, Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and Calicut in India using two leased Boeing 737-400 aircraft, Bloomberg reported.
RAK Airways first began operations in early 2007 but suspended scheduled flights in September 2008 following the global financial crisis.
"Conditions have markedly improved lately to the point where international passenger demand has soared," commented Sheikh Al Qassimi. "The time is right for us to make a spectacular re-entry into the market."
He also stated that the government of Ras Al Khaimah is aiming to quadruple tourist numbers by 2012 as well as increase the number of five-star hotel rooms from 1,400 presently to 7,500.
RAK Airways' expansion drive comes amid rising air travel in the UAE, with Dubai International Airport last week reporting a 14.7 per cent increase in passenger traffic during the first eight months of this year compared to the same period last year.