Budget airline SpiceJet has officially begun scheduled service to Ras Al Khaimah International Airport. The first flight, a 737-800, touched down just after midnight on November 27th. This new service to the lesser-known Emirate in the UAE marks the airline’s 12th international destination. This news also comes more than a year after the airline announced its plans to launch a new international carrier based out of the Ras Al Khaimah airport.
“The addition of Ras Al Khaimah as our 12th international destination today marks one of the most important days in our 15-year history and represents a major stepping up of our commercial operations. RAK Airport has been a vital partner for us since we signed an MoU with them last year and they are a major part of our expansion plans, which are to deliver more services to more destinations across the Indian sub-continent and the rest of the world.” – Ajay Singh, Co-founder and Managing Director, SpiceJet
Details of the first flight
Taking place last week on Friday, November 27th, SpiceJet’s SG160 touched down at Ras al Khaimah International airport (RKT) from Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL). This first arrival was given the customary ‘water salute.’
The 1,320-mile journey took three hours and 15 minutes and was operated by a Boeing 737-800. This first flight was operated by VT-SZJ, a seven-year-old aircraft that has flown exclusively with SpiceJet. So far, it appears the service is operating on a twice-weekly basis.
Stay informed: Sign up for our daily aviation news digest.
The outbound flight (SG160) is scheduled to depart Delhi at 22:30 on Thursdays and Sundays and arrive at RKT at 00:50, Fridays, and Mondays. The return flight, SG161, departs RKT Airport at 01:50 on Monday and Friday and lands in Delhi at 06:40.
Virtually all flights operating the route will be SpiceJet’s 189-passenger Boeing 737-800, in an all-economy configuration.
The red carpet treatment
After landing and deplaning from the 737, passengers on this inaugural flight were treated to a red carpet walkway as they made their way into the airport terminal. There, they were each given a gift from the airport’s duty-free shop to commemorate the occasion, and were invited to participate in a cake-cutting ceremony.
The Community Affairs Consul at Consulate General of India in Dubai and the CEO of Ras Al Khaimah International Airport were among the officials and dignitaries greeting the passengers. Also in attendance were representatives from Ras al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, SpiceJet, and key members from the Indian trade industry and business houses in the UAE.
An equally exciting event for Ras al Khaimah
Economic development and increased connectivity for business communities in both India and Ras Al Khaimah were highlighted as benefits of flights such as the new service by SpiceJet.
“RAK Airport is progressively ramping up its scope of operations in a new phase of expansion and SpiceJet is an important partner in our strategy. As an increasingly influential passenger and logistics hub, we are embedded in the fabric of the community in Ras Al Khaimah and play an important role in the emirate’s socio-economic development, as well as the wider growth and development of the UAE.” – Sanjay Khanna, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah International Airport
Ajay Singh, the airline’s managing director, says that the carrier intends to build on this service offering “the cheapest return flight ticket on the Delhi – Ras Al Khaimah – Delhi route,” and this includes free road transportation from Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah.
Indeed, Ras al Khaimah Airport is a 70-minute drive to Dubai and a two and a half-hour drive to Abu Dhabi.
Have you ever flown SpiceJet or visited the Emirate of Ras al Khaimah? Let us know in the comments.