Sharjah’s first air carrier prepares for lift off
Sharjah has moved ahead with plans to set up its own air carrier. The emirate’s first airline is set to commence operations next month. Privately owned, Pluto Airlines will offer passenger and cargo transport services through Sharjah, in a bid to promote the emirate as a tourist destination, Gulf News reported.
A feasibility study, conducted by a UK consultancy firm, had been concluded last summer. However, the implementation of its favorable recommendations was postponed following the September 11 events. Entrepreneur Shaikh Fahm Bin Muhammad Bin Khalid Al-Qasimi is soon expected to officially announce the airline's launch.
The study envisaged a small airline, operating as a feeder to bigger regional carriers. To ensure the carrier’s financial viability, Pluto Airlines will serve destinations no longer than three hours away from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). These include the neighboring markets of Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) , Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Syria and certain points in Europe.
Sharjah is the third largest of the seven states which form the United Arab Emirates. The UAE currently operates six international airports, with the Dubai airport ranking among the world’s 10 largest. The country also has two airlines—Emirates Airlines headquartered in Dubai and Gulf Airlines jointly owned by Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)