New Jordan air pact set to boost tourism

Transportation Minister: Agreement will increase competition, lower prices and improve service on flights between TA and Amman.

A new aviation agreement with Jordan will enable both countries’ airlines to increase the number of flights between Tel Aviv to Amman.
According to the memorandum, which was signed in Amman on Tuesday by Civil Aviation Authority director Giora Rom and his Jordanian counterpart, Suleiman Obeidat, both countries can increase the weekly number of seats on flights from 1,000 to 1,500.
The agreement also canceled a limit on the number of weekly flights between the two destinations, which until now was restricted to 14.
Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz said that the agreement would increase the competition on the routes between the two airports, lowering prices and improving service.
At the moment, there are two companies that operate on the route, Arkia and Royal Jordanian. Both companies enjoy high capacities, of over 90 percent, on the flights.
Joseph Fisher, executive board member of IDB Tourism, said that the main advantage of the agreement was that it increased Israelis’ access to Royal Jordanian’s network of continuing flights.
“Royal Jordanian is a large company, on par with El Al, and has a rich network of flights to attractive destinations.
Ninety-nine percent of the Israelis who travel to Amman continue to other destinations, especially to the east,” said Fisher.
“Royal Jordanian has a network that covers all of the Far East and is suitable for passengers wishing to travel to places like Thailand, Hong Kong, India and Sri Lanka. It is also a great solution for business people who want to travel to the Gulf states or other countries that Israeli companies can’t fly to.”
Fisher said that the agreement would also increase incoming tourism and that it would enable more pilgrims to come from places like India and Indonesia.
Fisher added that since the Jordanians are expanding the Amman Airport and the airline was in the process of purchasing new aircraft, more flights would soon be on offer.