March start-up for Kozhikode schedule
Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, 21st March: It was announced yesterday by Ras Al Khaimah International Airport that Air India Express, India’s leading low cost carrier, will start flights to the northern emirate this March. This comes on the back of the commencement of scheduled flights by Qatar Airways between Ras Al Khaimah and Doha last week and the announcement of other development projects at RAK International.
The announcement was during a press conference that was attended by His Excellency Engr. Salem bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairman of RAK Airport and Department of Civil Aviation; His Excellency Mr. Muralidharan, the Deputy Consul General of India; Mr. Mohammed Qazi, CEO and Board Member RAK International Airport; Mr. K. Shyamsunder, Chief Executive Officer, Air India Express; Mr. Melwin D’Silva, Regional Manager - Gulf, Middle East & Africa and the heads of the Airport Police Department, Airport Immigration Department and Customs.
Air India Express will start with 4 flights per week to Kozhikode (Calicut), starting on the 28thMarch, and are looking to expand to a daily service in near future. The growing number of Indian expatriates in the Northern Emirates has had to cope with limited options from air carriers over the past few years as demand has risen. The new route will help to alleviate those issues.
His Excellency Engr. Salem bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairman of RAK Airport and Department of Civil Aviation, said “I am delighted to welcome Air India Express to Ras Al Khaimah. There was much need for this connectivity, but we also believe that this route may require more than a daily frequency to satisfy the growing demand. We would therefore urge the authorities to consider the needs of the passengers and increase seat allocations for high demand sectors.”
His Excellency thanked His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, for his vision and support to the aviation sector. His Excellency also expressed his gratitude to Air India Express for starting the much needed route, assured them of full support from RAK Airport and wished them every success for the future.
Ras Al Khaimah International’s CEO, Mohammed Qazi, commented “India has strong ties with Ras Al Khaimah for the business and leisure markets, going both ways. We are confident that the route will be a great success, as the market already exists and is growing. We hope to see Air India Express grow its footprint in the Northern Emirates, both in terms of frequencies and routes. As well as passengers originating in Ras Al Khaimah, the Airport is easily accessible from Fujairah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, and Sharjah, and with quick passenger processing, efficient aircraft turnaround, no slot restriction and free car parking, we are the ideal location for low cost airlines to operate from.”
Ras Al Khaimah’s connections with India are growing. The Emirate has become a popular base for Indian business with over six thousand companies availing themselves of the Emirate’s free zones and other operating formats. Ashok Leyland recently announced that its Ras Al Khaimah bus and truck assembly plant would double its capacity in 2016. The staging of high-end Indian weddings has become popular at Al Hamra Village, and RAK International Airport was recently chosen as a location for ‘Airlift’ a Bollywood blockbuster released in January 2016.