Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Royal Jordanian cuts more routes amid stronger regional competition, losses | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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File photo of a Royal Jordanian jet airliner. (AFP Photo/Alexander Klein)

File photo of a Royal Jordanian jet airliner. (AFP Photo/Alexander Klein)

File photo of a Royal Jordanian jet airliner. (AFP Photo/Alexander Klein)

Amman, Asharq Al-Awsat—Jordan’s national carrier has canceled a further three routes this year as part of a restructuring plan it has instigated amid instability in the region, “aggressive” competition from rivals, and increased operating costs.

The scrapping of Royal Jordanian’s routes to the Indian cities of Mumbai and Delhi and the Nigerian capital Lagos on Saturday brings the total number of destinations stopped this year to eight.

The airliner also canceled routes to Alexandria, Colombo, Milan and Accra in April and May.

Royal Jordanian’s routes to Delhi and Mumbai, both from Amman, were the only direct routes from the Jordanian capital to India.

The carrier’s president and chief executive, Nasser Lozi, said in a press release that the move was “part of a synchronized plan to turn around the [airline’s] covering operations and financial structure” and comes at a time when it is facing difficulties due to the instability in the region and high fuel prices.

Lozi also said the decision was made following reduced demand among customers traveling to and from the three destinations as well as the “aggressive growth of regional competition and increased operating costs.”

Heavyweight regional players including Emirates, Eithad and Qatar Airways all operate regular flights to Mumbai, Delhi and Lagos.

This followed the suspension of flights to Tripoli airport in Libya earlier this month after its closure due to fierce clashes between militias and government forces.

On Wednesday, Royal Jordanian suspended all flights to Tel Aviv following the deteriorating security situation at Ben Gurion Airport.

The carrier has suspended or canceled a slew of destinations since 2012, incurring losses of 19.4 million Jordanian dinars (27.4 million US dollars) in 2012–2013 as a result of suspending flights from Amman to Damascus and Aleppo and changing its route to Beirut.

Lozi said the losses had continued into 2014 as a result of these suspensions.

He added that the airline would be adding five Boeing 787s to its fleet by the end of the year, as part of the restructuring plan, which seeks to overhaul Royal Jordanian’s existing fleet as well as re-organize its routes.