Bahrain’s Gulf Air Eyes Direct Flights To The UAE’s Ras Al Khaimah

As expected, many new aviation deals, investments, and projects have been announced at the 2021 Dubai Airshow. One such news that came out of there was a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Gulf Air and Ras Al Khaimah International Airport, aimed to develop connectivity between the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah and the Kingdom of Bahrain. Let’s find out more.

Bahrain’s Gulf Air Eyes Direct Flights To The UAE’s Ras Al Khaimah
Bahrain’s Gulf Air has signed an MoU with Ras Al Khaimah International Airport for twice-weekly flights. Photo: Pedro Aragao via Wikimedia Commons

New connection

The national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain, Gulf Air and Ras Al Khaimah International Airport of the northernmost emirate of the UAE signed an MoU on Day 1 of the Dubai Airshow, committing to connect Bahrain with Ras Al Khaimah with twice-weekly flights by Gulf Air.

The enhanced MoU was a build-up on the original MoU signed earlier in the year between the two entities with the aim to turn the direct flights into a year-round scheduled service between the two airports.

Bahrain’s Gulf Air Eyes Direct Flights To The UAE’s Ras Al Khaimah
The aim is to turn this service into a year-round schedule. Photo: Getty Images

H.E. Mr Zayed R. Alzayani, Chairman to the Board of Directors at Gulf Air, was present at the signing ceremony and commented,

“As the region’s leading boutique carrier with global footprint, we look forward to adding Ras Al Khaimah to our network of seaside destinations and increasing our UAE points to 3 with Abu Dhabi and Dubai…Today we signed an enhancement to the existing MoU to proceed with operations and provide our passengers with a new destination that is known for quality tourism appeal that attracts tourists from GCC and Europe.”

The announcement comes shortly after the appointment of RAK Airport’s new CEO, Atanasios Titonis, who commented,

“Gulf-state connectivity is a key factor of our expansion strategy, and Gulf Air is an ideal partner for this mission. We are looking forward to developing our partnership and providing more scope for our passengers to select their destination of travel from our airport.”

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Ras Al Khaimah International Airport

Serving the northernmost emirate of the UAE, Ras Al Khaimah International Airport is a growing aviation and logistic hub. The UAE has multiple airports, the biggest in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, which are hubs for major handle long-haul full-service carriers. RAK focuses more on regional and low-cost carriers such as Air Arabia, SpiceJet, Air India Express, Ural Airlines, and Pegasus Airlines.

Air India Express 737
Unlike Dubai and Abu Dhabi airports, RAK Airport has so far focused mainly on regional and low-cost carriers such as Air India Express, Air Arabia, and SpiceJet. Photo: Getty Images

Recently, the airport appointed its new CEO, Atanasios Titonis, replacing Sanjay Khanna, who served in the role since September 2017. Titonis is expected to oversee RAK Airport’s ambitious expansion strategy – its biggest in the last 50 years.

The announcement with Gulf Air is part of the airport’s strategy of building strategic partnerships to open up the emirate to key markets and position it as a dynamic tourist destination. RAK Airport’s expansion also aims at improving the visitor arrival experience and strengthening cargo operations. This is all in line with Ras Al Khaimah’s plans of attracting three million visitors by 2030.

Have you ever flown to Ras Al Khaimah International Airport? What are your thoughts on the airport’s expansion plans? Do share your comments.

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