UAE to launch MMA Airline in May

A Pakistani entrepreneur is set to launch MMA Airline, a UAE-based carrier, with flights scheduled to start from Ras Al Khaimah airport in May 2012.

MMA chief executive Malek Naureed Awan said the new airline had been registered with the Ras Al Khaimah Free Zone and received its company licence last month, Gulf News reported.

“We have also received an Air operators Certificate from the General Civil Aviation Authority GCAA on 14 March,” Mr Awan remarked.

The MMA boss said the carrier intends to initially launch flights from Ras Al Khaimah International Airport to Karachi and Lahore before adding destinations in India and other countries.

"We have already acquired two Airbus A320s to start flights. Two Boeing 777-300s are expected to join the fleet when we plan to add more destinations, such as Mumbai after traffic rights are granted," Mr Awan said.

StrategicAero Research chief aerospace airline analyst Saj Ahmad said MMA would be the first private commercial airline to operate from the UAE but warned that its start-up could potentially hurt rival RAK Airways.

"That said, it’s clear this new Pakistani-backed carrier is looking to poach traffic from cost-conscious Pakistani nationals living and working in the UAE, albeit away from the congestion and high competition seen in Abu Dhabi and Dubai." Mr Ahmad remarked

"Whether this airline can succeed depends largely on whether it carves out a niche for itself or whether it’s at the expense of RAK Airways.

“Right now, there are a lot of questions and little substance to these ambitious plans."
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.P
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