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Travel agents hail launch of 14 new airline routes to Jordan

By Ahmed Bani Mustafa - Feb 06,2018 - Last updated at Feb 06,2018

AMMAN — Travel agents have praised the launch of 14 new airline routes to Jordan operated by a European low-cost carrier, scheduled to begin from summer 2018.

Meanwhile other agents called for launching similar routes from major and traditional markets, from which Jordan receives more tourists.

The routes to be operated to Amman include:  Milan, Budapest, Bologna, Krakow, Bucharest, Paphos, Prague, Brussels, Vilnius and Warsaw. While the routes to be operated to Aqaba are:  Athens, Rome, Cologne and Sofia.

Anas Shishani, a tour operator, said that the step is “absolutely” a good thing as it would bring new tourists from untraditional markets.

“For our agency, we do not receive tourists from these countries and we totally depend on west European and North American countries,” said Shishani, adding that authorities should take into consideration the statistics of the countries Jordan receive tourists most and take similar measures. 

Firas Dakkak, an inbound travel agency owner, commended the new routes as they will enhance the publicity and exposure of Jordan and increase the numbers of visitors.

“It’s something that we all should be proud of,” Dakkak added.

For outgoing agencies, they will benefit from organising trips from Jordan to these new destinations including accommodation, transport and tours but will not profit from booking flights, as “it will be done online by clients themselves”, the agent said.

The new routes will also impact Jordanian airlines in terms of prices, he added.

Najat Tammuoni, an outgoing travel agency manager, said that Jordanians would be delighted to travel to these new destinations.

Yet, organising trips for Jordanians to these EU countries requires “a tedious visa process”, which contributes to lowering the number of tourists and slowing down the process.

During a press conference on Sunday, the Ministry of Tourism and the Jordan Tourism Board (JTB) announced the launch of 14 new airline routes to Jordan operated by the European low-cost carrier Ryanair, scheduled to start from summer 2018.

The first route will operate from Paphos (Cyprus) to Amman starting in March, followed by nine new routes to Queen Alia International Airport and four other to Aqaba’s King Hussein International Airport starting in the winter of 2018, according to a press release by the ministry. 

The new routes are expected to bring up to 500,000 customers per year and 340 new on-site jobs, according to Ryanair’s Chief Commercial Officer David O’Brien.

Tourism Minister Lina Annab said that “this significant development in Jordan’s tourism industry will offer travellers a greater choice and value for money,” adding that “enhancing air connectivity is one of the key areas Jordan is focusing on, given its impact on unlocking economic growth through attracting business investment as well as spurring tourism”.

JTB Managing Director Abed Al Razzaq Arabiyat said that “opening up new routes to the Kingdom from several crucial markets is key to efforts aimed at bringing tourists for extended stays in Jordan.”

 

The launching of the new routes will be accompanied by several marketing campaigns based in the new source markets in Europe according to Arabiyat, who noted that the new strategies would target specific types of tourists such as religious, adventure and business travellers.

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