RJ President/CEO Hussein Dabbas said that the company will operate direct regular flights to Lagos, the economic and financial capital of Nigeria, starting December 3, 2011. It will start operating to Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, on the 16th of the same month.
Dabbas said the company’s effort to inaugurate these two routes comes in line with the expansion strategy RJ in undertaking in an attempt to find new tourism and travel markets, given the decline in tourism movement from the traditional markets of Europe and North America.
The RJ president pointed out that connecting Amman with these African cities is bound to attract large numbers of tourists to the Kingdom, particularly Muslim pilgrims who wish to continue their flights to Mecca and Medina, in Saudi Arabia, and Christians, who come to Jordan to visit the Baptism site and other Christian holy sites. Moreover, transit travelers can use Queen Alia International Airport as a hub for their travel to the east.
The company will operate two weekly flights with its wide-bodied, 280-seat Airbus A330s to Lagos. The flight will depart from Amman on Wednesdays at 12:40 after midnight, and reach Lagos at 6:30am; it comes back from Lagos the same day, leaving at 8am and reaching Amman at 3:15pm.
A second weekly flight to Lagos will be on Saturdays. It will leave Amman at 2:45pm, reach Lagos at 8:35pm and come back from Lagos at 10pm the same day, reaching Amman the next morning at 5:15am.
The narrower-bodied A319 will operate four weekly flights between Amman and Nairobi. The flights will operate on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, departing from Amman at 8:30pm and reaching Nairobi at 2:55am the next day. The flight back from Nairobi is on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 3:50am, reaching Amman at 8am the same day.
The airline is conducting studies to see whether it is feasible to inaugurate routes to Accra, capital of Ghana, and Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. Royal Jordanian is working on putting these cities on its route network in the near future.
Dabbas said that these four additions to its 59 global destinations constitute a real leap for Royal Jordanian’s volume of air transportation. The step will also support the national efforts that aim at enhancing Jordan’s position as a gateway to the Middle East and a hub that connects this region to the whole world.
The above-mentioned African countries have high numbers of Muslim and Christian populations. Nigeria has 155,000,000 citizens, Ethiopia 82,000,000, Kenya 41,000,000 and Ghana 25,000,000.
Source = World Aviation Systems