New flight route between Ras Al Khaimah and Istanbul inaugurated

The first flight from Istanbul to RAK International Airport landed on Thursday morning to a water cannon salute

RAS AL KHAIMAH, UAE. July 7, 2014 - Stock Photograph of the departures terminal of Ras Al Khaimah International Airport in Ras Al Khaimah, July 7, 2014. (Photos by: Sarah Dea/The National, Story by: Shereen El Gazzar, Business)
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A new flight route between Ras Al Khaimah and Istanbul, Turkey, was inaugurated on Thursday.

The first flight from Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen International Airport arrived at RAK international airport at 3.20am when it was welcomed with a water cannon salute. A special cake cutting ceremony was also held and attended by key figures in the aviation industry.

Passengers of the commercial flight, operated by Pegasus, were greeted with a red carpet set up from the plane and given a Duty-Free bag on arrival.

Ras Al Khaimah International Airport has seen an increase in the number of inbound tourists to the Emirate from key international markets over the past 18 months.

The emirate also witnessed a 5 per cent growth in overall visitor arrivals from January to October this year, with a peak of 117,995 visitors in August 2019.

Raki Phillips, chief executive of the Tourism Development Authority, said the new route would open the emirate up to key markets in Turkey and beyond.

“The new route is just in time for one of our busiest seasons, as the weather cools down, tourists are able to take full advantage of Ras Al Khaimah’s many great outdoor assets, inclusive of the beaches and mountains,” said Mr Phillips.

Ras Al Khaimah plans to draw in 1.5 million visitors by 2021 and 3 million visitors by 2025.

“The partnership with Pegasus will further connect Ras Al Khaimah with 26 European destinations including the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, the Nordics and Russia via Istanbul,” said Sanjay Khanna, chief executive of RAK Airport.

The airport is currently connected to destinations including Prague, Moscow, Luxembourg, Warsaw, Wroclaw, Katowice, Poznan, Brno, Cairo, Calicut, Peshawar, Jeddah, Islamabad and Lahore.