RAK Airline stops operations

January 02, 2014 - 10:06:52 am

ABU DHABI: Ras Al Khaimah's only airline has suspended all of its flights for the second time in five years, but insists it will fly again.

RAK Airways, which was launched in 2006, stopped operations in 2009 amid a global downturn but resumed service a year later.

Starting yesterday, it again suspended all operations until further notice.

"The decision for suspending operations was taken following increased pressures on the carrier's performance due to continuous market conditions, increased operating costs, and the impact of the regional political instability on the overall aviation industry," the English daily "The National" quoted the RAK Airways board of directors.

The StrategicAero Research.com chief analyst Saj Ahmad put a lack of clear strategy as the reason behind the airline's shutdown.

"When it restarted operations in 2010 after its last suspension, the airline stated that it was not going to be a full or low-cost airline that indicated immediately that its strategy was in jeopardy," he told the paper.

"You can't be a halfway house when down the road in Sharjah you have Air Arabia, Dubai has Emirates and flydubai, and Abu Dhabi has Etihad four of the world's biggest and fastest growing airlines."

It carried 300,000 passengers in 2012, and improved the numbers by 40 percent in 2013, said Elizabeth Percy, the corporate communications director for RAK Department of Civil Aviation, RAK Airport and RAK Airways.

"It has only suspended operations to take the time to study the opportunities at hand in terms of investors and flying again," she said. (QNA)

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