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A Jordan Aviation A330-200. (Photo: Gautham Kurup)

Jordan Aviation Plans Flights To The United States

International expansion is a rarity during the COVID-19 pandemic as many airlines were forced to shrink schedules to international destinations due to travel restrictions and a lack of demand. However, some carriers have taken advantage of the pandemic to launch new markets. One of these carriers is Jordan Aviation.

The Jordanian carrier, Jordan Aviation, wants to fly to the United States. In a Department of Transportation(DOT) filing, the airline filed for a foreign air carrier permit, which would allow for it to carry passengers, property, and mail between Jordan and the United States.

In its request, Jordan Aviation stated its intent to inaugurate scheduled service by April 1, 2021. If it receives the foreign air carrier permit before April, the carrier plans to operate charter flights carrying passengers and cargo, which would be mainly PPE. Jordan Aviation predicts that it would serve 9,600 passengers and transport 1500 tons of cargo.

Possible Routes

If they decide to go through with plans for scheduled service, Jordan Aviation would be competing primarily with its Jordanian counterpart, Royal Jordanian. Royal Jordanian operates flights from Jordan’s capital, Amman, to Chicago, Detroit via Montreal, and New York. The Oneworld airline uses its Boeing 787-8 on the routes with 270 seats: 24 business class seats and 249 economy class seats. 

Additionally, Jordan Aviation would be competing against Turkish Airlines and the ME3: Etihad, Emirates, and Qatar Airlines via their expansive connecting networks at their respective hubs.

The main population centers for Jordanian Americans include Chicago, Detroit, New York and Washington D.C. These cities are all possible targets for Jordan Aviation service.   

Based on range requirements, Jordan Aviation could use its singular Boeing 777-300 or its two A330-200’s for flights to the United States.  SU-KHP, a former Emirates Boeing 777-300, would offer 364 seats, with 12 first-class seats, 42 business class seats, and 310 economy seats.  

The probable option is that they would operate an aircraft with fewer seats. Its former Emirati A330-200, JY-JVA, offers 237 seats with 12 first-class seats, 42 business class seats, and 183 economy class seats. Meanwhile, its other A330 offers a full economy class cabin, though this aircraft is unlikely to be used for the route.

What is Jordan Aviation?

Founded in 1998, Jordan Aviation is mainly a scheduled and charter airline. It provides wet-leasing to major carriers and helps transport U.N. peacekeeping forces. From Amman, the airline flies to Egypt, Iraq, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Syria, Lebanon and Ukraine. According to planespotters.net, its’ fleet is elderly with 30+-year-old Boeing 767-200’s, multiple 737-300’s and one 737-400, and one 32 year old A320.  

Jordan Aviation is not the main scheduled carrier in Jordan, rather Royal Jordanian is. Pre COVID-19, Royal Jordanian operated flights to Bangkok and Hong Kong in Asia; Chicago, Detroit, Montreal and New York, in addition to a decently-sized European presence. In addition, the airline codeshares with American Airlines, allowing Jordanian passengers to connect to more destinations in the United States via Chicago and New York.

The Middle East has seen some growth for flights to the United States. For example, Qatar Airways plans to introduce flights to Seattle in 2021 and introduced flights to San Francisco in 2020. Additionally, United Airlines launched flights from Chicago to Tel Aviv. However, frequency cuts and aircraft downgauges due to the COVID-19 pandemic are still ongoing, which offset the growth shown above.

Winston Shek
Winston Shek
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