Gulf Air, the national airline of the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Sultanate
of Oman and Emirate of Abu Dhabi has announced that it is launching flights
from Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) International Airport to over 50 international
destinations, starting June 24, 2004. The announcement was made at an event
held recently at the VIP Lounge of RAK International Airport, attended
by RAK aviation authorities and senior officials from Gulf Air.
H. E. Engr. Sheikh Salem Bin Sultan Al Qassimi, Chairman, Department of
Civil Aviation, Ras Al Khaimah said that the new flights will establish
connectivity between Ras Al Khaimah and the international business and
leisure destinations. “This is a step towards securing RAK International
Airport’s position as an ideal transit and re-distribution point for regional
and international business travellers, as well as to capture an ever larger
share of the international tourism and business traffic. RAK International
Airport has recorded a growth of over 20 per cent between 1999 and 2003;
we are confident that our direct flights to these international destinations
will help us gain an even bigger market-share,” he stated.
The new flights will contribute to increasing inbound international business
and leisure traffic to Ras al Khaimah. The Emirate has recently introduced
several new sporting and recreational projects to capture a larger share
of the growing tourism market in the UAE. RAK airport currently caters
to a large number of international tourists, especially from the 33 visa-free
countries and the CIS (Common Wealth of Independent States).
“We are currently implementing an aggressive plan to position Ras Al Khaimah
on the international tourism and business map. Having a state-of the art
airport with regular connections to major international airports flights
is a part of this strategy. We are committed to offering visitors to Ras
Al Khaimah the best possible environment and facilities, be it for business
or for a holiday,” he stated.
James Hogan, President and Chief Executive of Gulf Air stated: “Gulf Air
has been at the forefront in establishing strong networks between hitherto
untapped destinations and the rest of the world. Ras al Khaimah, with its
strategic growth plans, is poised to take up a significant share of the
region’s business and tourist market, and we are glad to partner with them
in this journey.”
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 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. The RAK government has also introduced a convenient
visit-visa system for the family members of all UAE residents.
Gulf Air’s network stretches from Europe to Asia and covers more than 45
cities in 32 countries, besides an extensive regional network. The airline’s
fleet is one of the most modern in the Middle East and comprises 34 aircraft.
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