RAKTDA joins hands with German FTI Group for direct flights

Deal inked on Day 1 of Arab Aviation Summit at Ras Al Khaimah
/ New Delhi
Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) has tied up with German tour operator FTI Group to pave the way for bi-weekly direct flights linking Ras Al Khaimah and Munich in Germany.
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Raki Phillips, Chief Executive Officer of RAKTDA and Fabio Prestijacopo, Strategic Destination Officer, FTI Group

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) and  German outbound tour operator FTI Group have reached an agreement that paves the way for the launch of twice-weekly flights from Munich in Germany to Ras Al Khaimah International Airport in the fourth quarter of the current year.

In a press statement, RAKTDA says the contract was among the major developments formed on day one of the Arab Aviation Summit, currently taking place at the Al Hamra International Exhibition & Conference Centre in Ras Al Khaimah. It was signed by Ralph Schiller, CEO of the FTI Group, and Raki Phillips, Chief Executive Officer of the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority. The statement adds that as one of the top five visitor source markets for the emirate for many years, it will vastly enhance air connectivity between Ras Al Khaimah and Germany.

“This agreement with the FTI Group marks a major milestone in Ras Al Khaimah’s tourism development strategy, as we look to drive inbound traffic from Germany, which counts among our fastest-growing visitor source markets,” says Phillips of RAKTDA.

“In 2022, we have experienced 81 pc growth in German visitors to Ras Al Khaimah compared to the previous year, and the addition of twice-weekly direct flights from Munich, one of the country’s most important aviation hubs, should see this number grow substantially. In fact, our robust relationships with all leading trade partners in Germany will all play a key role in reaching our target of 3 million visitors annually by 2030, while boosting tourism’s GDP contribution from 5 pc today to almost a third of Ras Al Khaimah’s economy in the near future,” Phillips adds.

According to a recent report published by GlobalData, Germany ranks among the global tourism industry’s most crucial outbound source markets and is anticipated to account for almost 118 million travellers annually by 2024. The FTI Group, which has a 15 pc market share and a USD 4 billion revenue in the fiscal year 2021–2022, is a significant player in the German tourism industry. It is rendered a pivotal strategic partner in assisting RAKTDA’s goals for visitor growth as a result of its agreements with more than 10,000 partner travel agencies in Germany, says the statement.

“The signing of this agreement significantly strengthens our partnership with Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority and aligns with our business development plans by boosting outbound tourism to the Emirate. With this long-term partnership, we are contributing to Ras Al Khaimah’s growth story. We look forward to the great future that lies ahead of Ras Al Khaimah and are excited to be a part of it,’’ says Schiller of FTI Group.

The announcement of the expanded partnership with the FTI Group comes in conjunction with the signing of a contract between RAKTDA and Qatar Airways, which was also announced at the Arab Aviation Summit and will result in the launch of direct daily flights by the Qatari flag carrier to Ras Al Khaimah International Airport, starting November 1. The statement adds that both the agreements support RAKTDA’s plan to increase inbound travel by improving international aviation connections to the Emirate.

Recognised by Time magazine as one of the World’s Greatest Places of 2022 and CNN Travel’s best destinations to visit in 2023 for its stunning, unique topography and geodiversity, Ras Al Khaimah offers a myriad of authentic, diverse and inspiring experiences for every kind of traveller – perfect for those looking for adventure, nature, family fun and more, adds RAKTDA.

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