Ras Al Khaimah is keen to lead as the destination for charter flights in the UAE’s burgeoning aviation sector.
“We want to become a gateway for charter flights to the UAE,” said Shaikh Salem Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, chairman of RAK’s Department of Civil Aviation.
Shaikh Salem believes Ras Al Khaimah, which does not have the same aviation congestion as Dubai and Abu Dhabi, can handle the country’s charter flights and lift visitor numbers to the emirate.
“Our primary business is to serve the development of tourism in the emirate,” he said.
In preparation of future demand, Ras Al Khaimah International Airport is expanding in size. Air Arabia is flying to seven destinations from RAK Airport, however, could be serving as many as 12 by the end of the year and to 20 destinations by end of 2015, Qazi said.
RAK Airport has become a base for aircraft owners to dismantle their aircraft. Large amounts of retired aircraft are stored in ‘boneyards’ predominantly in the United States. Qazi said RAK Airport is in a partnership to strip down aircraft; however, the operations, he said, are in its early stages.