Indian low-cost carrier SpiceJet will begin flights to Ras Al-Khaimah this December after striking a deal on plans to create an "aviation hub" at the UAE airport.
In a brief stock market market announcement, SpiceJet says it has entered an MoU with the airport operator to "co-operate, develop and promote tourism" in Ras Al-Khaimah in the UAE. It says it will work towards creating an aviation hub at the airport.
The Emirate has been without a home carrier since the collapse of Rak Airways in 2014. Cirium schedules data shows there are currently eight destinations served on a scheduled based from Ras Al-Khaimah International airport, the majority of which are operated by low-cost carrier AirArabia.
Alongside its existing Boeing 737 fleet, SpiceJet has a large order backlog for Max aircraft
In a related news release, SpiceJet says it is aiming to begin services from New Delhi to Ras Al-Khaimah in December. It quotes chairman and managing director Ajay Singh as saying it hopes to use the base to extend its range as far as Western Europe.
SpiceJet currently operates across Asia-Pacific and into the Middle East using a fleet of Boeing narrowbody jets and De Havilland Canada Dash 8 turboprops.
The release adds that Spicejet will work over the coming months to create a hub at Ras Al-Khaimah, either under the SpiceJet name or a different brand.
Fast-growing SpiceJet will continue to serve Dubai, which Cirium schedules show it connects with 10 Indian cities. The airline during the summer struck a codeshare with Dubai-based Emirates, amid a summer of change in the India-UAE market. Notably Jet Airways, which had a wide-ranging partnership with minority shareholder Etihad Airways, has been grounded since March.
Overall seat capacity is 3% higher in the India-UAE market in this October compared with the same month in 2018.