RAK Airways to Re-Launch Operations
RAK Airways will re-launch its operations in the September-October period with an aim to break-even on the first year, its Chairman said.
The UAE's 4th carrier will start with 2 planes and will cover South India and Saudi Arabian routes, Sheikh Omar bin Saqr Al Qasimi said.
"We will start with two aircrafts then we will judge our situation. We don't want to go very positive until we analyse our situation," he said.
"We used to have 3 aircrafts - 2 were for charters but they have been sold. We still lease 1 aircraft and that is being chartered for other companies. We will never use it for ourselves," he added.
Despite the relatively slow growth of the economy, Sheikh Omar is positive that the re-entry would be successful. "We are aiming to break-even as soon as possible. It may be slow but we looked at what we've done in the past. We changed the aircraft type - we opted for smaller and more economical 737s. We also looked at the figures and the cost of the airplanes and staff and it looks positive."
"What we are looking to serve is the Ras Al Kaimah population where a lot come from Southern India such as Calicut and people travelling to Saudi Arabia for Haj. If we could serve them with the right price and the right service, I think people will come," Sheikh Omar added.
The Ras Al Khaimah carrier was created by the emirate's government in 2005 and started operations at the end of 2007. The airline carried about 125,000 passengers in 2008 before suspending services in May 2009 due to difficulties with its aircraft.
It reduced its fleet size from 3 aircraft to just one, and terminated its services to Dhaka, Colombo, Calicut and Chittagong. At the same time the airline also cut jobs. The airline ran on a charter-only basis using its only aircraft, a Boeing 757-200.
The cost of operating an airline with just one aircraft, besides logistics, was the key factor that forced the airline to terminate operations last year.