RJ contributes 3pct to GDP

Amman, Royal Jordanian (RJ) President and CEO Stefan Pichler on Monday said the flag carrier is a key source of hard currency to the national economy with around one billion US dollars every year and contributes 3 percent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Speaking at a press conference in Amman, Pichler said RJ employs 3800 people; 97 percent of them are Jordanians and also helps create many indirect jobs. He highlighted the national carrier’s contributions to the travel and tourism industry in the Kingdom.

Pichler spoke about challenges facing the carrier, namely regional turmoil, higher fuel prices, and airport fees which he described as the highest in the region. He also blamed unfair competition from rivals, mainly low-cost airlines companies that operate extensive flights from Europe to both Amman and Aqaba.

Pichler said is not exempt from departure fees as the case with budget airlines operating trips from Europe to Jordan. He further added that the fees and taxes inbound and outbound travellers pay are 60 percent higher than those imposed at other similar airports.

On the same note, transit fees are low compared with neighboring countries while entry and visa fees are among the highest, thus influencing RJ’s ability to compete, Pichler indicated. Nevertheless, the RJ CEO added, the national carrier managed to deliver strong performance in terms of passenger traffic and revenue in 2018 despite the “impeding” rise in fuel and operational costs.

Source: Jordan News Agency