Air Arabia Jordan, the Kingdom’s new low cost carrier (LCC) has announced that it will commence operations from its base at Queen Alia International Airport in Amman from May this year, beginning with direct flights to four countries in the region as it seeks to strengthen connectivity between Jordan and the Levant, Middle East, Europe and North Africa.
Air Arabia’s chief executive officer, Adel Ali, will be taking part in a panel session alongside executives from Royal Jordanian, Flynas and Oman Air discussing Arab Liberalisation during the Strategy Summit at the forthcoming inaugural Routes Middle East & Africa in Manama, Bahrain between May 31, 2015 and June 2, 2015. Full details are here: Routes Middle East & Africa Strategy Summit
United Arab Emirates (UAE) carrier, Air Arabia, has been serving the Jordanian market for more than ten years, but significantly expanded its operations between Sharjah and Amman last year when capacity was increased by 50.4 per cent. A further 10.8 per cent increase in capacity is already planned for 2015, based on published schedules for this route for the full year.
The new venture will complement the existing operations into Jordan with the introduction of regular scheduled flights to Kuwait from May 18, 2015 with services to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia following from May 19, 2015; Erbil, Iraq from May 20, 2015 and Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt from May 21, 2015 and more destinations are due to be added later in 2015.
All four markets are already well served from Amman and Air Arabia Jordan will hope to further stimulate demand with its low fare offering. It will compete directly with Royal Jordanian on all four routes as well as foreign flag carriers, international low-cost ventures and regional operators.
Air Arabia first outlined its plans to set up an operation in Jordan at the start of the year after agreeing terms to acquire a 49 per cent stake in local carrier Petra Airline. The original plan was to see the carrier relaunched as Air Arabia Jordan before the end of the first quarter of this year although the project has seemingly slipped a couple of months.
Although its primary focus has been on its Sharjah-based operations, Air Arabia has already shown its ambitions to grow its business model into other countries with ventures in Egypt and Morocco and a second base in the UAE. Amman’s Queen Alia International Airport will be the fifth hub for the expanding low-cost business.
“We thank the Jordanian government and aviation authorities for their invaluable support throughout the process of forming Air Arabia Jordan. We are eager to begin operations of Jordan’s latest airline and move a step closer to connecting Jordan and the entire region with affordable air travel,” said. Adel A. Ali, group chief executive officer, Air Arabia.
“As a major tourism market with a stable domestic economy, Jordan offers a superb opportunity to serve both in-bound and out-bound passenger demand. In turn, the launch of Air Arabia Jordan will provide a direct boost to the Jordanian economy through the creation of skilled jobs and the opening up of new opportunities for local businesses,” he added.
The Jordanian international market is currently dominated by the country’s flag carrier Royal Jordanian which holds a 47.7 per cent share of the available capacity in and out of the country this year, based on published schedules.
The carrier had held around a 55 per cent international capacity share until this year when a number of airlines boosted capacity into the country, including flydubai, Iraqi Airways, Kuwait Airways and the big hub carriers Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways.
Jordan has been a growing air service market these past ten years with annual capacity from the country rising from just under 2.4 million seats in 2005 to almost 4.9 million last year, an average annual growth rate of 10.4 per cent.
“We are confident of the business growth prospects in the Kingdom and the wider region as well as the increasing demand for affordable air travel. We look forward to the launch of Air Arabia Jordan operations and to working with our partners to contribute to Jordan’s aviation and tourism growth over the coming months and years,” added Ali.
Our analysis highlights the growth in the country's international air capacity over the past ten years and forecasted schedules for the current year, based on currently published timetables through to December 2015.