x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Air Arabia to fly three times daily to Doha after RAK Airways suspends service

Announcement comes days after RAK Airways suspended all its flights for the second time in five years.

The Sharjah-based Air Arabia yesterday said that it would fly three times daily to Doha from two just days after RAK Airways suspended operations.

“The airline [Air Arabia] has increased its existing twice daily services between Sharjah and Doha to three times daily, becoming one of the frequent fliers between the two countries,” it said.

Air Arabia first launched flights to Doha on January 6, 2004.

Last Tuesday, RAK Airways suspended all its flights for the second time in five years – but insisted it would fly again. It flew to Doha, Peshawar, Islamabad, Lahore, Jeddah, Riyadh, Calicut and Kathmandu.

Currently, the UAE has two low-cost carriers – Air Arabia and flydubai.

“Demand for Doha-UAE flights is quite high and we’ve seen Qatar Airways increase flights to the new Al Maktoum Airport recently, so Air Arabia is likely just responding with capacity growth on a high yield route that provides an extra gateway and boost competition,” said Saj Ahmad, the chief analyst at StrategicAero Research.

Adel Ali, the group chief executive Air Arabia, said: “Since inception in 2003, we have been committed to improve intra-GCC connectivity to most major destinations in the Gulf.”

“As we continue to play a vital role in connecting the nations, we have ambitious plans to strengthen operations to all airports within the GCC.”

Air Arabia is the only publicly listed airline in the UAE, serving 15 destinations in the GCC and Egypt. It also operates 154 weekly flights within the Gulf.

selgazzar@thenational.ae