Ras Al Khaimah International Airport (RAK Airport) is gearing up to receive the first commercial flights from Indian value carrier SpiceJet on November 26, 2020.
The development signals a steady return to normal economic activity following the Covid-19 pandemic, spokespersons for the two operations said, noting that with SpiceJet’s connection to 28 destinations across the Indian sub-continent and RAK Airport’s position as an expanding travel and logistics hub, the development is poised to create notable economic growth and momentum in both countries, providing a major boost to the UAE’s efforts to restore activity across all its vital sectors to pre-Covid-19 levels.
Operating an initial schedule of twice-weekly flights, SpiceJet’s first tranche of services will connect travelers to Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi, allowing passengers to fly to 28 destinations within India, with further destinations to be added moving forward.
“The commencement of SpiceJet passenger flights into RAK Airport is a significant step forward in helping the UAE get back to a normal footing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Indian expatriate community in the UAE numbers almost 3.5 million people and constitutes 27 percent of the population, making connectivity between our two countries an imperative. With UAE and India being each other’s largest trading partners, RAK Airport has an essential role to play in the business and economy of the emirate, especially in view of Ras Al Khaimah’s efforts to diversify its economy from heavy industry to one that is knowledge-based and underpinned by human capital and tourism,” said Sanjay Khanna, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah International Airport.
“Ras Al Khaimah was named Gulf Tourism Capital for 2021, holding onto the title for the second year running and providing a significant boost to the Emirate’s plans to attract 2.9 million visitors by 2025,and we aim to play an important part in helping achieve this goal. We look forward to closer collaboration with all entities involved in this project, and to doing our part in promoting the Emirate’s attractions and tourist hotspots.”
SpiceJet’s forthcoming commencement of commercial operations from RAK Airport will see flight SG 160, a Boeing 737-800 with 189-passenger capacity, depart from Indira Gandhi International Airport Delhi at 22:30pm on Thursday and Sunday, landing at Ras Al Khaimah International Airport at 00:50am on Friday and Monday. The return flight SG 161 departs RAK Airport at 01:50am on Monday and Friday, landing in Delhi at 06:40am. More SpiceJet destinations across the Indian sub-continent will be added in the coming months.
“We are delighted to start commercial operations into Ras Al Khaimah International Airport – one of our most important strategic partners in the region – with the new schedule commencing November 26, 2020. SpiceJet has played a pivotal role in opening up the UAE to Indian travellers and reconnecting families. As we enter the post-coronavirus phase, we are looking forward to continuing to play a vital role in Ras Al Khaimah’s ongoing growth and development, especially its tourist sector, which is anticipated to experience a surge in visitors now that travel restrictions are slowly being eased,” said Ajay Singh, CMD SpiceJet.
SpiceJet recently had its profile raised among the Indian community in the UAE thanks to its efforts in flying home Indian nationals at the height of the Covid-19 outbreak. In response to an Indian government initiative and in partnership with RAK Airport, the airline repatriated almost 53,000 Indian nationals on approximately 300 flights from the beginning of June.
SpiceJet’s cheapest return flight ticket on the Delhi - Ras Al Khaimah - Delhi route is priced at AED730, including free road transportation from Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah. RAK Airport’s catchment areas include Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Khorfakhan, Dibba and Umm Al Quwain.
The upcoming commencement of SpiceJet’s commercial operations at RAK Airport will mark the beginning of the facility’s proposed expansion phase, which will see it increase airline capacity and add more destinations to its schedule. The hub’s strategy is to build on the advantages it offers for passengers, such as competitive flight prices, easy accessibility from large swathes of the UAE and having no slot restrictions, resulting in fewer delays and smoother operations.