A small airline acting as a feeder to bigger carriers and ferrying cargo and passengers on regional flights of not exceeding three hours can prove very successful in the Gulf, a top Sharjah Civil Aviation Authority official said.
"The feeder will also attract the long-haul majors and prove advantageous to both," director-general Mohammed Saif Al Hajri said.
"(Hence) national carriers have a big role to play in attracting other airlines," the official was quoted as saying.
Such a national carrier could easily serve the neighbouring markets of Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the GCC, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Syria and certain points in Europe.
He said demand for the service would be high because of the high expatriate population in the region.
He also said a British consultant had conducted a feasibility study on Sharjah's plans to launch an airline and the report had been presented to the higher authorities several months ago.
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