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Expert Pilot For Airport Expansion - RAK International

16 October 2012

Download the official case study: Expert Pilot For Airport Expansion - RAK International 


Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) is the fourth-largest emirate in the UAE and has a rapidly growing economy thanks to an ambitious process of economic diversification that focuses on industry, trade & commerce, tourism and real estate. The Ras Al-Khaimah International Airport (RAKIA) plays a key role in supporting the successful growth of the economy by delivering significant increases in passenger and freight traffic and the development of a world-class international airport experience.



RAKIA had been through five CEOs in five years and the lack of both continuity and success had meant the airport was failing to meet its growth and service targets. The recruitment of an airport management professional who could drive through both operational efficiency and commercial growth was a key objective for the airport board.


In 2011, Hunter & Chase were given the brief to source a truly expert airport management professional to take on the challenge at RAKIA. Proven expertise and experience were key factors, although the personality and individual competency to drive through change were paramount for the task. The project was an urgent one, and the Hunter & Chase team were given just under three weeks to deliver a short-list of candidates for interview by the RAK HR Director. The Hunter & Chase team mapped out the requirements for the role – and created a target-list of executives at airports which had seen good recent growth and efficiency improvements. Once key executives were identified, they were approached and questioned about their personal drivers and how they would react to the specific challenge of introducing and driving change in an emirates culture.

A total of sixteen candidates were shortlisted and interviewed over one weekend in London by the RAK HR Director – two and a half weeks after Hunter & Chase had been given the initial brief. Two candidates stood out immediately – and both were invited to RAK to see the airport and talk to the board. It became apparent that both had complementary skills, and the decision was taken to create two positions; Chief Executive and Commercial Director, and both candidates were offered roles.

Hunter & Chase supported the whole process, giving significant support, advice and information to both candidates who were re-locating with families from Europe to RAK.



"Hunter & Chase delivered an exceptional service during our search for a new management team for Ras Al-Khaimal International airport. I gave them an impossible deadline to develop a shortlist and arrange interviews to tie-in with a visit to Europe and they sourced an excellent range of experienced candidates from European airports, all of whom hit the brief. They also provided honest assessments of each candidate’s strengths and weaknesses that greatly assisted my selection process. Our two new hires immediately identified improvements to the operation of the airport and, six months on, the airport is operating much more efficiently, has increased commercial income, has a clear vision and a five year plan to deliver the growth and service levels required to support the future success of Ras Al Khamiah. "

HR Director, Ras Al Khaimah International Airport

Download the official case study: Expert Pilot For Airport Expansion - RAK International

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