The UAE's first-ever domestic air service soared into the skies yesterday - as aircraft bosses claimed: 'You can now get from Abu Dhabi to Fujairah in one hour'.
The inaugural service linking the capital with the UAE's most-eastern emirate left Abu Dhabi International Airport's runway at precisely 10.46am yesterday - as Rotana Jet claimed the prize for being the first airline in the country to join two emirates.
Rotana Jet hope the launch of their double daily internal flights will see both domestic tourists and business personnel jettison theirs car and jump aboard its small Embraer passenger jets.
"We are very proud," said Rotana Jet manager and commercial and planning director Rajendran Vellapalath.
Driving, you'd spend three to four hours on the road," he added. Vellapalath says Rotana Jet can do "the entire process" - check-in at Abu Dhabi, security, flight and exit at the airport in Fujairah - in "one hour."
"Yes, we can," he insisted. The airline is also imminently set to launch to-and-fro flights between Al Ain, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah from Abu Dhabi. RAK Airways has signed an agreement with Etihad to provide a similar service from the most northerly emirate to the capital later this year, while Eastern Express has long pledged it will provide internal flights from Fujairah.
"I think it will be a positive," he said. "I think it will really benefit inter-travel within the UAE - especially our beloved capital Abu Dhabi. It will boost national and international connectivity." According to Google Maps, the cross-country drive from Abu Dhabi International airport to Fujairah International airport takes three hours and 28 minutes.
Though aircraft chiefs claimed the flight time was 26 minutes - 7DAYS, part of invited media on-board the inaugural journey, had the slightly tardier time of exactly 33 minutes 17 seconds on our stopwatch from take-off to touchdown.
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