UAE domestic flights... residents still prefer to drive around

Looks like there will only be a few takers for the domestic flights that will soon take-off between the emirates, suggested an online poll on Emirates24|7. 

Only 9 per cent of the respondents thought it was a good idea. 

RAK Airways had only recently confirmed their plans to launch the first-ever domestic flight between Ras Al Khaimah and Abu Dhabi on October 3.  

Even, Abu Dhabi Airports Company (Adac) and Rotana Jet Aviation, the UAE’s first domestic airline, on Sunday announced the launch of daily services to Fujairah, Al Ain, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah from the UAE’s capital. 

With the seven emirates well-connected by road, not many residents are willing to give air travel a go. Of the voted population, a whopping 43 per cent picked road travel over air. 

The online poll revealed that 42 per cent, in fact, were willing to wait for the rail network to connect the two emirates. 

A small minority of 6 per cent even picked sea ferry over air travel. 

According to a RAK airway call centre agent, the prices for the four-time a week flights, will start at Dh230 (onwards) for one-way, and Dh410 return.  

For the other domestic airline, the prices will start from Dh 200 for an all-inclusive, one-way trip to Fujiarah, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah, and Dh150 to Al Ain. 

The actual distance between Ras Al Khaimah and Dubai is approximately 250 km. 

It is reported that passengers on the domestic airliner won’t need to carry their passports for the journey, but only their Emirates ID cards.  

RAK Airways also confirms that the passengers will be allowed 30kg baggage allowance and 7kg hand luggage, ensuring this will cater to those residents who’d like to fly out of the capital city. 

Despite this being the first domestic airline in the UAE, and the distance (between AUH and RAK) being clocked at 40 minutes, many residents claim they still prefer to drive down. And, this has mostly to do with the two-hour airport halt, prior to the take-off, that RAK Airways insists on.  

“Imagine how much time we’d waste driving to the airports, for the security check and stuff. It’d be faster to drive to Abu Dhabi,” insists Rehaan, who commutes daily from Mirdif to Abu Dhabi by road. 

“It just doesn’t make sense to waste so much time. Considering petrol is so affordable in this part of the world, I’d rather drive because it will save time and money,” reasons Nishant, another regular cross-emirate commuter. 

With a sizeable population commuting daily between the emirates, this initiative should’ve turned favourable. “It takes around 2.5 hours to complete the entire drive, but at least there are no stop-overs or deviations,” adds another motorist. 

However, there are a few who are keen on making the trip. “I’d love to fly for a quick weekend getaway, when I’d be happy to park the car away, and sit back and relax,” wishes Reena. 

And, with the baggage allowance at 30kg, it will favour home-ward bound residents. “This way I can plan my holidays with Eithad,” adds Natasha. 

In fact, the airline will help those commuters who don’t own a car. “Taking a taxi is so expensive. At least, this way I can save a lot of money,” claims a regular Sharjah-Abu Dhabi commuter.

 

Emirates247 poll results

 

Number of respondents

Percentage

Road

108

43

Air

23

9

Sea Ferry

16

6

Rail

105

42

 

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