The Business of Freedom: AVIATION

Jordan’s tourism and aviation outlook in 2019: waiting in the wings.

Insights into the latest aviation trends, future outlook for the industry and ongoing challenges in Jordan as well as the wider region, as briefed to Venture, in a media briefing and roundtable earlier this year in the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Regional Office for Africa & Middle East, in Amman, Jordan, led by IATA’s Director General and Chief Executive Officer, Alexandre De Juniac.

De Juniac believes that Jordan has great tourism potentials where aviation plays a key role in that element. The Jordanian government is doing its best to promote aviation by welcoming foreign and new airlines, De Juniac called on the government of Jordan to continue to focus on aviation as a strategic enabler of the country’s economic growth and development. Mentioning that Jordan is a bridge between the region and the world.

Aviation already supports close to $2.2 billion in economic activity and 70,000 jobs in Jordan. This renders the catalytic benefits of tourism enabled by air transport.

Today, 8 million passengers travel to, from and within Jordan each year. This demand is expected to increase at around 4% per annum over the next 20 years (0.5 of a percentage point higher than the average industry growth rate), with double the number of passengers expected to fly by 2037.

“In the region, the growth compared to the previous period of time has slowed down but remain significantly high and particularly in this country.” Said De Juniac

During the roundtable, De Juniac mentioned that IATA is urging the government to take positive steps in terms of environment by joining CORSIA (Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation), which is a program aiming to reduce the CO2 emissions.

This program has been adopted by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Some countries/states decided to join the voluntary phase starting in 2020, before the mandatory phase that should start in 2026. However, Jordan is not yet among the candidature countries/states who decided to join the voluntary phase. D

How do you see the performance of Queen Alia Airport?

“For the moment, the airport is doing well in terms of capacity but we are reaching the limit, the limit is 8 million passengers, so we say it’s advisable to extend the airport. I understand that it’s difficult due to environment and traffic constraints, but we understand that there is a project or intention to modernize the old airport. To cope with growth in Jordan, the airport capacity has to be increased. However, in terms of quality, the airport is doing well.”

Regarding the flights delay and flight cancellations the passengers encounter, what would be IATA’s role or recommendation to either the Jordanian Government or responsible authorities to solve this issue?

“We try to find the right balance or compromise between the interest of the passenger and the interest of the airline. When there is a major destruction and when the airline is responsible, we have to compensate to take measures to mitigate the consequences of the disruption. But on the other hand, we say that this compensation program or regulation shouldn’t go too far because it would be detrimental to the business, the airline would be unable to do their job. Therefore, we have to find the right compromise as in everywhere in the world. In Jordan, we see that there’s a project to adopt an EU regulation which we call EU 261 and we are not in favor of this regulation because we have been advocating against this regulation in the EU for years. We think the burden on the shoulders of the airlines will be too heavy if Jordan adopts this regulation. A better compromise should be found.”