RAK International Airport attracts news airlines
Bosses at Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) International Airport are hoping to "significantly increase" the number of airlines operating from the facility in 2013.The northern emirate has become increasingly popular in recent years, with many tourists finding it to be a quieter alternative to Dubai and so the demand for flights has soared.RAK International has now signed up a number of European airlines, which will start providing services to the region later this year.The airport clearly sees Europe as a key market and it recently exhibited at the Routes Expo in Budapest. It is also planning to take part in the Routes Africa gathering and World Routes Forum in Las Vegas later this year.A statement from the airport read: "With a few airlines already committed to bringing in their tourists this year, the airport is expecting to significantly increase its passenger and airline numbers in 2013."Meanwhile, chief executive officer at RAK International Airport Andrew Gower underlined the emirate's burgeoning status as a corporate and leisure hub."RAK has a lot to offer both business and tourist. With 25 per cent year on year growth for the airport, we are gearing ourselves for further growth in coming years," he commented.The airport was first inaugurated in 1976 and has registered steady growth in passenger and cargo volumes ever since.Plans have been drawn up to upgrade the main airport terminal and it is hoped that more travellers will head for RAK rather than Dubai or Abu Dhabi in the near future.Earlier this year, members of the RAK Tourism Development Authority (TDA) said they had been working hard to market the emirate as an exclusive adventure holiday destination and are hopeful that 1.2 million people will visit the city in 2013. Promotional campaigns in Germany and Russia have gone particularly well.Victor Louis, chief operating officer at RAK TDA, also set an ambitious target of having more than 10,000 hotel and resort rooms available by the end of the year.