Sunday, November 17, 2019

Aviation experts cautious on Spicejet's planned UAE expansion pla

For Ras Al Khaimah, it was the next natural step in its ambitious plans to further its plans to grow as a tourist destination.
Spicejet's proposals to not only develop Ras Al Khaimah as a hub, but to establish an airline in the emirate, caused more than a stir in the region's aviation industry.
The RAK Destination Strategy 2019-2021 reported record numbers in August this year, with most international visitors coming from Russia, Czech Republic, India, Poland and Kazakhstan.
While the figures are impressive, industry experts are cautious about the Indian carrier's move to establish a new carrier at RAK International airport, which are already serves as a hub to Air Arabia.
Tobias Ruckerl, CEO of London-based Advanced Aviation Consulting (ADAVCO), has called the move by SpiceJet “brave”.
Operations from the UAE will start in December with a Boeing 737 Next-Generation aircraft flying between New Delhi and Ras Al Khaimah (RKT).
Spicejet will operate five flights a week and aims to gradually increase the frequency.
John Grant, senior analyst at OAG, expressed concerns about the sustainability of having six airlines, including four budget carriers – Flydubai, Air Arabia, Air Arabia Abu Dhabi and any new entity – operating in the same country.
He said: “Historically such ‘growth spurts’ in new entrants ends over time to lead to a period of consolidation. In the short-term it will probably lead to some very competitive fares in the market; great for the traveller in the short term but sustainable from a business perspective...?”
While Ruckerl agreed that it was good news for passengers, although he does not expect it to impact neighbouring airports in the emirate.
17/11/19 Gavin Gibbon/Arabian Business
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