SpiceJet has announced plans to continue adding new destinations to its upcoming base at Ras Al Khaimah, UAE. In addition to its flights from Delhi and Mumbai, the airline will add four more routes to the emirate. The added routes could be the prelude to a new base in Ras Al Khaimah, which SpiceJet announced in 2019.
SpiceJet is quickly growing its operations at Ras Al Khaimah, with two routes launched since December. Photo: Anna Zvereva via Wikimedia Commons
SpiceJet operated its first route to Ras Al Khaimah Airport (RKT) in December 2020, flying from Delhi. Just one month later, the carrier announced plans to begin a second Mumbai-RKT service as well as increase the Delhi-RKT frequency to four-times-weekly. The new Mumbai flight was inaugurated on Saturday, January 16th.
However, SpiceJet is not waiting before further growing its operations. Ras Al Khaimah Airport confirmed this weekend that the airline would be adding four new routes to the airport. These flights will be from Cochin, Amritsar, Lucknow, and Jaipur. In a press release, SpiceJet CEO Ajay Singh said,
“This shows just how in demand our services are and that we are successfully able to counter the overall decrease in aviation activity. We put this down to the incredible value and choice that we offer our passengers…The addition of our new flights to Ras Al Khaimah will both meet existing requirements for flights to and from the UAE and India as well as help fuel new demand”
SpiceJet has not announced a timeline for when each of these routes will come into operation. However, considering the current rate of growth, these could begin operating by the end of 2021.
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Following the collapse of Ras Al Khaimah’s airline, RAK Airways, in 2014 the airport has struggled with average passenger numbers. The MoU with SpiceJet in 2019 and new routes will allow the emirate to reinvent itself and rapidly increase passenger traffic. Currently, the airport is offering free pick-ups and drop-offs to Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah, making it a lucrative offer at low fares.
SpiceJet’s only Indian competition at RKT is Air India Express, which operates three routes from Kozhikode, Cochin, and Thiruvananthapuram. The airport is also the hub for Air Arabia, but they currently do not operate flights to India from RKT. For now, SpiceJet seems to be quickly becoming the market leader in Ras Al Khaimah.
What about the base?
While there is much excitement about the new routes, SpiceJet has been tight-lipped about plans for a base. In 2019, the airline said it could position up to five 737 MAXs in Ras Al Khaimah and possibly operate under a different name. This could be similar to Wizz Air’s new base in neighboring Abu Dhabi, which will begin operations next month.
For now, SpiceJet is yet to announce plans for the base. However, with the MAX returning to service soon and operations ramping up fast, we might just see Ras Al Khaimah become their first international hub.
What do you think about SpiceJet’s plans? Let us know in the comments!