The United Arab Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah - the airport of which handles precisely two scheduled flights per week (both with Indian Airlines - they won't like this!) has announced plans to, wait for it ...
Launch a new airline with 20 aircraft serving the Middle East and Asia and later, points in Europe. It wants to start services in 2007. No aircraft type is specified as yet, but you can be sure Leahy of Arabia is saddling up his camel, to fill that famous Omar Sharif role - the black cloaked figure riding out of the desert ...
Hey there, fancy a few A350s? And a few A380s? Ah go on, you know you want to. Go on, go on, go ... Sure all your neighbours are doing the same.
Seriously though, isn't this deja vu? Will the other emirates - the two or three that haven't done so yet - be looking to do so soon? How can a place which barely handles two flights a week, expect to support an airline with 20 aircraft, or could they be - he asked, stunned at the sheer novelty of it - be looking to gain a foothold in the Europe - Asia routes?
Can't wait to see the load factors; should be great flights, though! AVOD, the works ... Mind you, given what another deep pocketed M/E airline will do to yields on Asia-Europe routes, you can't help wondering if airlines will be saying to Airbus and Boeing: sell these people airplanes and you can forget about us; we're buying aircraft to fly on those routes and here you go, gallopping through the desert to sell them planes so they can operate a heavily subsidised fleet/network in competition with us?