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RAK Airways - 737s, 757s To India & Iran  
User currently offlineScbriml From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 12041 posts, RR: 47
Posted (7 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 4182 times:
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From this week's electronic FI (fair use extract)

Quote:
United Arab Emirates start-up RAK Airways is aiming to launch operations in January with a fleet of Boeing 737s and 757s, and has indicated that initial routes will serve destinations in Iran and India.

While RAK Airways will hardly be competing with the likes of Emirates and Etihad, it's good to see a new airline starting up at this less well known Emirate.

I just happened to be at RKT a week ago and bumped in to RAK's Operation Control Manager. We had an interesting chat about the airline's plans, but he declined to tell me how many 737s and 757s they were looking to operate. He told me they'd just finalised RAK's colours, and the illustration in FI looks very nice - blue and silver. I'm hoping to get up there again later in the year and get some shots of these planes once they've arrived.


Hey AA, the 1960s called. They want their planes back!
22 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAirlittoral From France, joined Sep 2006, 108 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (7 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 4125 times:

Here's the link to the airline internet site:
http://rakairways.com/index.aspx

Looks to me like they have somewhat lowered their ambitions:
www.ameinfo.com/77800.html

"RAK Airways to fly from end-2006
United Arab Emirates: Tuesday, February 14 - 2006 at 07:01
Ras Al Khaimah will launch the UAE's fourth national carrier, RAK Airways by the end of 2006. The airline will raise an initial capital of $231.5m through a private placement, with the government retaining a controlling stake. It will initially operate a fleet of eight aircraft flying to GCC countries, Lebanon, India, Bangladesh, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Iran, and Egypt."

I really doubt there a real market here. The South Asian Market is already covered by GCC and Indian airlines, and it's mainly a low end market. RAK is really a 2hrs drive from Dubai: I can see customers driving from RAK to DXB to fly, but not from DXB to RAK...or am I to pessimistic?


User currently offlineQatarA340 From Qatar, joined May 2006, 1735 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (7 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 4082 times:

Quoting Airlittoral (Reply 1):
RAK is really a 2hrs drive from Duba

I agree the market is not there; but a regional airline of small plans might be okay, but RAK is really only an hour away from Dubai by Emirates Highway. Sharjah is just across the border and Air Arabia is already a reputed, respectable carrier in the northern emirates.
 Smile



لا اله الا الله محمد رسول الله
User currently offlineAirLittoral From France, joined Sep 2006, 108 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (7 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 4073 times:

Yes, I think above all, there's a lot of ego involved here...Each Emirate wants its own airline...it's a "mine is bigger than yours" sort of game.
What about Ajman or Al Ain ? seriously, I wouldn't be surprised if they were planning something  Smile


User currently offlineQatarA340 From Qatar, joined May 2006, 1735 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (7 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 4014 times:

There was plan to create a large international airport in Ajman but that was scraped a while ago. I wouldn't be surprised if I see a Fujairah Airways or Ajman Airways coming soon.


لا اله الا الله محمد رسول الله
User currently offlineTayaramecanici From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2006, 216 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (7 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 3975 times:

Quoting AirLittoral (Reply 3):

Has ajman got an airport ? Al-Ain is part of Abu Dhabi, i am sure in the years to come AL-Ain will attract many LCC.



[quote=Airlittoral,reply=1]RAK is really a 2hrs drive from Dubai: I can see customers driving from RAK to DXB to fly, but not from DXB to RAK...or am I to pessimistic?

You've to calculate the additional time to travel from SHJ to RAK. As most of the price sensitive pax living in DXB consider SHJ as an alternate airport in addition to the residents of SHJ working in DXB. In that sense i would say RAK has a viable business case.



''You are as good as your nearest competitor'' Bob Crandall.
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31573 posts, RR: 57
Reply 6, posted (7 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 3911 times:

What powerplants on their B757s.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineGr8Circle From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 3071 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (7 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 3895 times:

Quoting Tayaramecanici (Reply 5):
Has ajman got an airport ? Al-Ain is part of Abu Dhabi, i am sure in the years to come AL-Ain will attract many LCC.


[Edited 2006-09-25 19:57:11]

User currently offlineTayaramecanici From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2006, 216 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (7 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 3867 times:

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 6):
What powerplants on their B757s

PW2000, Jack Romero has made a clever choice or his fleet manager whoever decided upon the PW2000 engines. Most of the B757 with RB211-535E4 are the more sort after in the seconds market, affecting their values and availability. However a large number of B757 flying in US are PW2000 powered and these will be flooding the market soon as they get replaced with A321s/B739s.
Considering the routes (<3hrs) RAK plans to operate, these PW2000s have plenty of juice to operated in the severe ME conditions with full payload during the summer months.



''You are as good as your nearest competitor'' Bob Crandall.
User currently offlineAirLittoral From France, joined Sep 2006, 108 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (7 years 6 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 3767 times:

Quoting Tayaramecanici (Reply 5):
You've to calculate the additional time to travel from SHJ to RAK. As most of the price sensitive pax living in DXB consider SHJ as an alternate airport in addition to the residents of SHJ working in DXB. In that sense i would say RAK has a viable business case.

I agree, I can see the logic but my feeling is that RAK AIrways will either have to be very smart with its route planning (ie fly to destinations not served by Air Arabia), or offer a strong price incentive making up for the additionnal time, cost etc. implied to drive to RAK Airport.
Scbriml, you've met RAK's Operation Control Manager, maybe you can share with us some of his insights. I'm sure RAK Airways has a viable business plan, I just don't get it right now.


User currently offlineMD90fan From Bahamas, joined Jul 2005, 2931 posts, RR: 7
Reply 10, posted (7 years 6 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 3761 times:

Quoting Airlittoral (Reply 1):
It will initially operate a fleet of eight aircraft flying to GCC countries, Lebanon, India, Bangladesh, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Iran, and Egypt."

initially?? I would think that list of countries are the ones to be served at the airline's peak  wink 



http://www.devanwells.blogspot.com/
User currently offlineScbriml From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 12041 posts, RR: 47
Reply 11, posted (7 years 6 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 3740 times:
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Quoting AirLittoral (Reply 9):
Scbriml, you've met RAK's Operation Control Manager, maybe you can share with us some of his insights.

To be honest, he played his cards pretty close to his chest. I asked him how many planes RAK would start up with and he was clearly not prepared to tell me. I suspect they're still in negotiations. All he said about the 737s was that they would be the 300/400/500 series and not NGs. Amusingly, as we were talking, there was a Silver Air (Djibouti) 732 on the ramp and he pointed at it and laughed saying "Our planes won't be that old!"

I did ask him what market they were going after, and would they see themselves competing with Air Arabia? He said they were not looking to compete with an LCC, but would be offering "full service" scheduled flights as well as looking for charter work.

It will be interesting to see how they go. I think they're smart to start small and I wish them well.



Hey AA, the 1960s called. They want their planes back!
User currently offline777way From Pakistan, joined Dec 2005, 5716 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (7 years 6 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 3709 times:

Quoting MD90fan (Reply 10):
initially?? I would think that list of countries are the ones to be served at the airline's peak

At a later stage they plan to target Central Asia and Caucasus states.


User currently offlineQatarA340 From Qatar, joined May 2006, 1735 posts, RR: 6
Reply 13, posted (7 years 6 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 3646 times:

Quoting Scbriml (Reply 11):
He said they were not looking to compete with an LCC, but would be offering "full service" scheduled flights as well as looking for charter work.

So its not a Low Cost Carrier?



لا اله الا الله محمد رسول الله
User currently offlineAirLittoral From France, joined Sep 2006, 108 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (7 years 6 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 3597 times:

Quoting QatarA340 (Reply 13):
So its not a Low Cost Carrier?

No, it's not. But it's strange, because being based in RAK makes you perceived as a low cost carrier, at least in the UAE.


User currently offlineGr8Circle From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 3071 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (7 years 6 months 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 3573 times:

Quoting AirLittoral (Reply 14):
No, it's not. But it's strange, because being based in RAK makes you perceived as a low cost carrier, at least in the UAE.

Well, maybe they will play the role of turning around the image of RAK itself....if they provide an excellent service product......


User currently offlineQatarA340 From Qatar, joined May 2006, 1735 posts, RR: 6
Reply 16, posted (7 years 6 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 3554 times:

Quoting Gr8Circle (Reply 15):
Well, maybe they will play the role of turning around the image of RAK itself....if they provide an excellent service product......

But the thing is, no matter how excellent their service is, I am not going to drive all the way up there to get to another destination even though the service might be better--or its a little cheaper. Its also not as if RAK has a huge population. They better have a good marketing plan.



لا اله الا الله محمد رسول الله
User currently offlineStirling From Italy, joined Jun 2004, 3943 posts, RR: 22
Reply 17, posted (7 years 6 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 3543 times:

Quoting QatarA340 (Reply 16):
Its also not as if RAK has a huge population

What would that be?

I know that for the ENTIRE UAE, it is around 2.6 million. Which makes me scratch my head when I see airlines such as Emirates, Etihad, Gulf Air, and the like order such LARGE aircraft and expand so heavilly.
Is the ex-pat population of service and construction workers really that large? And, these people don't make a lot of money, so how are all these airlines able to maintain profitable yields and profits.....or are those secondary concerns to Ego?

Apologize for my generalizations, the area, especially when it comes to aviation is a complete mystery to me!



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User currently offlineQatarA340 From Qatar, joined May 2006, 1735 posts, RR: 6
Reply 18, posted (7 years 6 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 3533 times:

RAK is only about 170,000 ppl more or less. While Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah have a significantly larger expat population (in Dubai, less than 5% are native!), RAK is significantly smaller. Obviously, EK GF QR, ect. rely on transit passengers but nevertheless they still have markets.


لا اله الا الله محمد رسول الله
User currently offlineTayaramecanici From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2006, 216 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (7 years 6 months 4 weeks ago) and read 3491 times:

Quoting QatarA340 (Reply 18):
(in Dubai, less than 5% are native!), RAK is significantly smaller. Obviously, EK GF QR, ect. rely on transit passengers but nevertheless they still have markets.

And it is this very market that RAK will be targeting tomorrow and very soon Fujirah the day after. ''Money can't buy you love nor can it pax''.
When pax in EU are ready to travel 2hrs from Hub airport catchments to secondary airports to avail of LCC flts, these blessed souls working as labourers in UAE will also do the same.
RAK has 20yrs of EKs history to learn from and since it does not have access to the unlimited wealth sprouting out of the sands as Abu dhabi does, it will be a lot more prudent in its decisions, like Air Arabia of Sharjah.
Watch these goodfellas battle it out, inspite of all its modern structures, the ruling families of UAE are at heart tribesmen.........only the braveheart survives.



''You are as good as your nearest competitor'' Bob Crandall.
User currently offlineAirLittoral From France, joined Sep 2006, 108 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3439 times:

Quoting Tayaramecanici (Reply 19):
When pax in EU are ready to travel 2hrs from Hub airport catchments to secondary airports to avail of LCC flts, these blessed souls working as labourers in UAE will also do the same.

Yes but this LCC is already existing in SHJ with Air Arabia. And once again, the demographics are entirely different in EU than they are in UAE...The market, even taking into account expat and temporary workers, is much, much smaller...and RAK cannot rely on transit pax...


User currently offlineTayaramecanici From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2006, 216 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3408 times:

Quoting AirLittoral (Reply 20):
and RAK cannot rely on transit pax...

Significant number of business travellers from the MENA ( Middle East and North Africa) find Air Arabia convenient to connect to India and vv, the same would be the case with RAK. Due to its liberal drinking laws RAK will attract its share of fun seekers that would have normally avoided the dry emirate of SHJ.
Again for tourists wishing to visit UAE for shopping trips RAK would be a attractive alternative to the more expensive DXB/AUH.
Demographics of EU nations might be different but the Metro cities are the same as anywhere in the world, bear in mind these emirates are basically large metros. RAK is absorbing the overspill from DXB/SHJ growing at a rapid pace, the airline will boost this growth in RAK as EK did to DXB.



''You are as good as your nearest competitor'' Bob Crandall.
User currently offlineAirLittoral From France, joined Sep 2006, 108 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 3387 times:

Quoting Tayaramecanici (Reply 21):
Demographics of EU nations might be different but the Metro cities are the same as anywhere in the world, bear in mind these emirates are basically large metros. RAK is absorbing the overspill from DXB/SHJ growing at a rapid pace, the airline will boost this growth in RAK as EK did to DXB.

You are probably right to some extent. What I wanted to underline was rather the fact that, in my opinion, GCC carriers try to create a market or find reasons why they should operate such or such line (avoiding DXB, cheaper shopping trips, and a number of other reasons) rather than just providing the service for an existing need for air travel (meeting the demand).
When there's a real demand, people don't need reasons to travel, they just travel because they have to (for business, leisure...).
Next time you see an ad for Dubai saying: "you should come here because of X and Y reason", think of NY, or London, or Singapore...which don't need any self promotion: there is a real and strong demand. I'm not saying there's no demand for Dubai, or other GCC countries, but somehow it might be overestimated, especially in the case of RAK.
To summarize, I believe that strategies that are pulled by demand and meet an existing market just waiting to be covered are more relevant that strategies that build on a future potential market. But that's a long discussion...


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