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RAK Airways suspends flights, vows to come back
UAE-based carrier navigates financial turbulence.
January 2, 2014 12:38 by Muhammad Aldalou
For the second time in five years, RAK Airways has announced the suspension of all operations and flights until further notice, but has vowed that it will fly again in the future.
The UAE airline, based in Ras Al Khaimah, previously ceased all operations for two years after the 2008 financial crisis.
All flights have been ceased as of Wednesday, January 1.
“The decision for suspending operations was taken following increased pressures on the carrier’s performance due to continuous bad market conditions, increased operating costs and the impact of regional political instability on the overall aviation industry,” RAK Airways reveals in a statement.
The airline, which served 12 destinations across the Middle East region, including Lahore, Islamabad, Riyadh and Doha, recently claimed that it was aiming to increase its network of routes to 40 by 2015.
In 2012, the airline carried approximately 300,000 passengers.
On Tuesday, December 31, 2013, it stated “the board of directors took the decision today to suspend the operations until further notice. We believe this decision is in the best interest of the airline and its shareholders. We will take this time to re-evaluate the best options available for RAK Airways’ future, as well as those that fit the industry requirements of Ras Al Khaimah.”
Aviation analysts have expressed that the airline has struggled in the shadow of larger local players, adding that the carrier does not have the breadth of network, market profile of Emirates Airline or the clarity of low-cost models.