Both RAK Airways and FlyDubai have received permission to fly to the UK. At present, RAK, based at Ras-al-Khaimah only has 2 A320s, and mainly operates from the Gulf to the Indian sub-continent. FlyDubai has 23 B737-800s, with a further 27 on order. They fly mainly to the subcontinent, throughout the Middle East, and to some of the former Soviet states. Neither airline currently operates into Europe.
Both RAK Airways and FlyDubai have received permission to fly to the UK
Did they specifically apply or is this part of a wider EU agreement?
Of the seven Emirates in the UAE, Ras-al-Khaimah is one of the smaller ones up in the north. It is, so I understand, more an industrial centre than an oil or tourist place. With such good quality connections to many UK cities from Dubai and Abu Dhabi, I'm not sure that RAK could compete, unless they offered either (i) services from niche airports like Manston; or (ii) onward connections to regional Pakistani/Indian/Bangladeshi destinations, e.g. East Midlands, Leeds/Bradford or Luton via RAK to Peshawar, Amritsar or Chittagong.
FlyDubai has built a good low-cost network, and I would be surprised if they found anywhere in the UK they could profitably serve, again, given the competition at DXB. I'd see them concentrating as far as Europe is concerned on non-EU, such as further Russian and Ukrainian cities.
From Routes News:
"Under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed in London in February, the UAE's General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and the UK Department of Transport, granted additional rights for the two regional carriers to operate between the UK and UAE, and fifth freedom rights to operate to intermediate points beyond the UAE in Europe, including Frankfurt, Zurich, Rome, Amsterdam and Geneva."
Much of the Gulf carriers' business ex-UK is VFR traffic to India/Pakistan. This development will increase capacity in that market and reduce prices.
Will the use of 737/A320 aircraft be more economical than 777/A330?
Quote: "From Routes News: "Under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed in London in February, the UAE's General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and the UK Department of Transport, granted additional rights for the two regional carriers to operate between the UK and UAE, and fifth freedom rights to operate to intermediate points beyond the UAE in Europe, including Frankfurt, Zurich, Rome, Amsterdam and Geneva."
Am quite surprised, thought there was openskies between the UK and the UAE...obviously not.
These things are usually recriprocal, what's the "quid pro quo" (whether taken up or not) for UK carriers?
I would imagine the last thing BHX needs is a low cost operator to the UAE as it may dilute some of EK's traffic. This in turn would hinder any growth especially where a A380 is concerned. Infact any low cost operation in the region could have dramatic consequences for MAN as well.
1. Max range of a 737-800 is 3,060 miles..Distance BHX-DXB 3,500 MILES.
The 600 and probably 700 would be OK but I agree, the 800 would need to block off seats and offer a reduced load. I agree, doubt if you can make money on a loco operation with this sort of aircraft. I was merely commenting on aircraft capability.
Air Blue does pretty well on ISB/MAN via Istanbul and would do very well if PIA loses it`s EU rights so guess it could be done but not locost I don`t know how Air Blue and PIA compare cost wise and I guess it would be very difficult as so much is sold through travel agents.
A couple of sentences are particularly interesting:
The carriers will also be given the right to operate from the UK to intermediate points including Munich, Cologne, Paris, Zurich, Vienna and Athens.
The revised Air Service Agreement also reaffirmed the same rights for Emirates, Etihad and Air Arabia, Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, bmi and DHL. The designations for the defunct carriers Silverjet and UK International Airlines were cancelled.
This seems to imply that the UK has given permission for RAK and flydubai (and indeed Emirates, Etihad and Air Arabia!) to fly from the UK to Munich, Cologne, Paris, Zurich, Vienna and Athens. Given that this is a UK/UAE MOU, the UAE side would still need to get equivalent approval from the other European countries, but this seems to suggest that if they could get this, the Gulf carriers could then carry passengers on intra-European sectors. Thin end of wedge?