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Ryanair recently announced that it will commence operations to Amman and Aqaba airports in Jordan later this year. You might think that ‘Ryanair expands’ isn’t much of a story – but although it’s very early days, this particular expansion could be the start of something very significant.
Ryanair intends to fly 10 year round routes between European cities and Amman, the capital of Jordan:
- 1 new route to Paphos (Cyprus) from March (4 weekly)
- 10 new routes from October: Bologna (2 weekly), Brussels Zaventem (2), Bucharest (2), Budapest (2), Krakow (2), Milan Bergamo (3), Paphos (2), Prague (2), Vilnius (2) & Warsaw Modlin
Ryanair will also operate some winter schedules to the city of Aqaba on the Jordanian Red Sea coast.
- 4 new routes: Athens (2 weekly), Cologne (2), Rome Ciampino (2) & Sofia (2)
The only fare so far announced is 19.99 Euros from Paphos to Amman, so we’ll have to wait and see what the much longer flights from cities like Brussels and Cologne will look like.
Why should I care?
There are 3 main reasons:
- If you fancy visiting Jordan, it should now be possible to do so very affordably, via Warsaw, Milan, etc (which often have fares available for £10-15 to/from the UK).
- For ‘travel hackers’, being able to get to the Middle East region cheaply (particularly one way) creates a new range of redemption possibilities for using Points and Miles at favourable rates.
- Most significantly, is this a sign of things to come? We need to see what the fares are going to be like, but if Ryanair can make the numbers work on these ~5 hour flights at the same time as keeping prices low, then this could be the beginning of a whole new chapter in the Ryanair expansion story. Where one low cost carrier goes, others generally follow soon after, so the potential here goes beyond Ryanair.
The way the low cost carriers expand is something I keep a close eye on. When you consider the profound impact their dominance of short-haul flying has had, not just to the aviation industry, but to broader society and culture over the last 20 years, it’s fascinating (to me anyway!) to see what might happen now they’re starting to encroach on mid and long haul markets.
Are you tempted by a trip to Jordan on Ryanair? I think I might send Craig…