Ready for takeoff–Does the UAE really need another airline?
An airline in Fujairah planned to launch in 2012 hopes to cater to government business passengers and tourists. More details in the upcoming Dubai Airshow this November. Precious de Leon reports.
August 3, 2011 3:35 by Precious de Leon
As news trickles down about a new airline launching in the UAE in 2012, it’s hard not to wonder what kind of role it will play in region’s aviation sector. This is especially true as the industry’s landscape runs the gamut from Qatar Airways finally breaking down staunchly-closed borders with its new routes to Canada all the way down to Kuwait Airlines trying to sell stakes to anyone who’ll have them.
So is there room for another carrier in the UAE?
Alex de Vos seems to think so. The president and CEO of Al Hajjar Aviation told Kipp that a press release revealing more details about the Fujairah-based airline’s investors and carrier partnerships will be sent out later this week.
Al Hajjar Air is actually only the unofficial name of the airline. Branding, along with other information will be revealed during the Dubai Airshow this November.
To get an idea about the size of the planes, each aircraft will have two pilots and one flight attendant–assumedly the plane would have no more than 50-seats and cover only short-haul routes in the GCC.
Although the airline is more prominently promoted as a feeder carrier to a yet undisclosed existing regional airline, Vos tells Kipp that he sees the airline also cater to passengers who travel frequently to and from Abu Dhabi on government business and leisure travellers from abroad who increasingly visit Fujairah as a cultural destination. He also hopes to cater to the more than 130,000 residents in and around Fujairah, eliminating their more than an hour drive to airports in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.
There is very little information about Al Hajjar Air online, although de Vos heavily underlines because the airline is of low-operating cost does not mean the airline will be a low-cost carrier.
“Other airlines have tried a few times to establish a passenger service [from Fujairah] but with a different business model, usually based on immigrant labour traffic to and from the Indian sub-continent,” De Vos said in a Flightglobal.com article. “It doesn’t make economic sense to try that again as there are enough carriers in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) doing that.”
The most detailed coverage is from Fujairah Blogger Geoff Pound who wrote spoke to Alex de Vos about the airline in April for his blog, Fujairah in Focus.
Kipp got in touch with the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA). We wanted to know about what their thoughts where on this potential new partner but GCAA did not
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