Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Pakistan’s national flag carrier, now operates a weekly flight between Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) International Airport and Karachi. The new link was announced at a gala dinner organized at the Pakistan Centre, Ras Al Khaimah recently.
Addressing the dignitaries, H. E. Engr. Sheikh Salem Bin Sultan Al Qassimi, Chairman, Department of Civil Aviation, Ras Al Khaimah, said: “Ras Al Khaimah is stepping up efforts to emerge as an important destination in the Middle East for travellers from all over the world. The move by Pakistan International Airlines to link Ras Al Khaimah to Karachi will serve as a major factor in boosting tourism and business by providing an easy access to Ras Al Khaimah for people from the Subcontinent.”
“The air-link between Ras Al Khaimah and Karachi will serve to strengthen further the bonds between the UAE and Pakistan,” said Air Marshal (Retd.), Syed Qaiser Hussain, Ambassador of Pakistan to the UAE. “We are positive that a direct link with Ras Al Khaimah would open up more business investment opportunities for Pakistani businessmen as well as forge stronger tourism links between the two sides.”
“Ras Al Khaimah has excellent tourist attractions. Not only would this service cater to the requirements of travellers from Pakistan and people of other countries in the Subcontinent, it will also support the booming tourism industry in the emirate. PIA will ensure that travelers between Ras Al Khaimah and Karachi get the best of treatment and service during the flight and on land,” Zahir Hayat General Manager, UAE, Middle East, PIA, said on the occasion.
PIA, which operates out of Karachi International Airport, has a fleet of 47 aircraft, and serves more than 45 international destinations. It also has an extensive regional network. The RAK- Karachi will be run once a week, using a Boeing 737 aircraft.
RAK International Airport has recorded a growth of over 20 per cent between 1999 and 2003. An ambitious Dhs. 60 million expansion plan was launched last year, that involves extension of the runway, installation of state of the art equipment, setting up new facilities such as Automated Cargo Warehouses, Parking Lots, Offices and Restaurants and other projects in the near future such as the new Airport Hotel, Arrival and Departure Lounge and a Free Trade Zone. The airport recently received ISO 9001-2000 certification, the second GCC airport to earn such recognition.