Ryanair aims to expand its routes

 Tuesday, April 30, 2019 


Ryanair is aiming to double its routes and its passengers it flies to Jordan next year, following a rapid growth of this aviation company compared to last year.



Ryanair, which began flying to Jordan in February 2018, currently operates 14 routes to the capital Amman and the Red Sea port city of Aqaba. It plans to add four new routes for the winter season in Europe. After talks with Jordanian officials, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said he expected to reach around 1 million passengers in 2020 from the roughly 500,000 expected this year.



Michael O’Leary said in an interview in Amman that they could double the number of routes to 40 routes connecting other cities in Germany, Poland, Italy, Greece and others to Jordan. He also urges Jordan’s government to waive a $56 visa at the airport to help boost passenger numbers.



Michael O’Leary said Ryanair in total expected to carry almost 150 million passengers this year, the vast majority on routes in the European Union, although it also flies to some non-EU countries, including Israel and Morocco.  Jordan has courted Ryanair, which flew 300,000 passengers in the first year of its launch, a key factor behind the 13% rise in tourism receipts last year to a record $5.2 billion.



The recovery in tourism has been a major economic boost to the cash-strapped country that has been forced to adopt IMF-guided austerity measures. The open skies agreement in Jordan with the European Union in 2010 that abolished all restrictions gave the country an edge over other Middle Eastern countries that have sought to protect their national carriers.



Jordan is Ryanair’s by far fastest growing winter sun destination. This is growing faster than Morocco, Canary Island, Southern Italy and Greece. They have immense potential here for inbound tourism.



Morocco is Ryanair’s biggest market in the Middle East, with 2.5 million passengers annually, followed by Israel which gets 1.3 million to Tel Aviv airport alone.  In European tourists’ minds, Jordan and Israel are less of a security concern than other destinations in the Middle East, such as Tunisia and Egypt, Michael O’Leary said.



He said that Jordan is very much ahead of Middle Eastern destinations. In European minds there are no security or safety issues visiting Jordan and Israel.

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