Dubai: RAK Airways, which abruptly suspended services four weeks ago, will not be resuming operations, the UAE’s leading aviation official said on Thursday.
Speaking to the media in Dubai on the sidelines of the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) 2014-2016 Strategic Plan launch, Saif Mohammad Al Suwaidi, Director General of the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority, said the airline will “not be coming back”.
RAK Airways officials could not be reached for comment.
On New Year’s Eve the Ras Al Khaimah-based airline announced it was suspending services and would resume flights after a restructuring period.
But there has been little news out of the Northern Emirate airline since the abrupt announcement.
Questions are now being asked on what will happen to RAK Airways’ landing rights that it has in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Asked if RAK Airways would be able to sell its allocations at international airports to other UAE airlines or if the GCAA will redistribute them, Al Suwaidi said he would make an announcement next week [in the regard].
The closure of RAK Airways will not put a strain on Ras Al Khaimah airport, the airport’s top executive told Gulf News in a phone interview on Thursday. Mohamed Qazi, Acting Chief Executive Officer, said there has been a misunderstanding in the market. “We are open 24/7. We still have Russian charters coming in. Lots of training [flights] coming in,” he said.
RAK Airport is now after a new airline to take RAK Airways’ place. Qazi said the airport will welcome international and UAE carriers.
“We’re planning to compensate for what’s happened. The future for RAK Airport will be here for the long term,” he said.
But on the loss of RAK Airways, he said it “was a valuable customer to the airport and for any business if you lose a valuable customer it has an impact.”