Dubai: Indian carrier IndiGo’s first non-stop flight from Mumbai arrived in Ras Al Khaimah, it’s 100th destination, on Thursday.
Apart from being the 100th destination, Ras Al Khaimah is also the fourth city in the UAE that the airline serves.
RAK is also the airline’s 11th destination in the Middle East, and 26th international route.
IndiGo’s recently appointed CEO Pieter Elbers was onboard the inaugural flight, along with over 100 tourists.
“In vast and diverse India, IndiGo already serves an unparalleled 74 cities and communities throughout the nation,” Elbers said. “This new route, warmly welcomed by our customers and authorities, further enhances connectivity in the region as envisioned in IndiGo’s strategy.”
The flight departed Mumbai at 10:56 IST, with a scheduled flight time of 2 hours and 57 minutes.
“These flights are designed to cater to business and leisure travellers who are constantly on the lookout for new and affordable flying options to access destinations which help in building businesses and are known for their tourist attractions,” IndiGo said in a statement.
“It is our pleasure to welcome IndiGo airlines to Ras Al Khaimah International Airport and to be able to acknowledge the increased passenger flow from the Indian subcontinent,” said Sheikh Salem Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairman of The Department of Civil Aviation Ras Al Khaimah & Ras Al Khaimah International Airport. “The driving force behind Ras Al Khaimah’s economy lies in its thriving tourism and industrial sector and IndiGo’s approach is well aligned to our passenger needs.”
Atanasios Titonis, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah International Airport, said the “partnership will boost our business and will open a new channel to serve the tourism for Ras Al Khaimah as an emirate”.
“IndiGo is the right airline partner in our portfolio as we are on our way to move into a destination airport,” he said.
Prices on the route start at Rs9,999 for a one-way ticket in IndiGo’s ‘Saver’ fare class, which only provides hand and check-in baggage allowance. The ‘Flexi Plus’ fare will set passengers back Rs11,049 for a one-way ticket and come with a complimentary meal, seat selection, and slightly more forgiving rescheduling terms.
Eyes on GCC market
IndiGo is the leading airline in India with a market share of over 57 per cent as of August 2022.
“We have resumed our scheduled international operations to most of our pre-COVID destinations,” said Vinay Malhotra, Head of Global Sales at IndiGo. “We now fly to all the six destinations in the GCC.”
In August, IndiGo launched direct flights from Mumbai to Bahrain.
Code share agreements
Malhotra added that the airline has also signed code share agreements with multiple airlines for connectivity across continents, such as Turkish Airlines, Qatar Airways, Air France, KLM, Qantas, American Airlines and Virgin Atlantic.
The airline operates approximately 1,600 flights a day, of which approximately 150 are international flights. Malhotra said “IndiGo is keen on expanding the network and adding more cities and destinations in the range of six to seven hours from metropolitan cities in India”.
“(Today’s) fight was almost full, there were just a handful of empty seats,” said Elbers. “There were a few passengers for Mumbai, but quite a few passengers from other parts of India, which were connecting over Mumbai.”