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Why Did Delta Stop Non-stop Flights To AMM?  
User currently offlineliftsifter From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 317 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 8253 times:

This summer, I was planning on going to Jordan with my mom to visit family. I decided to check my first two choices for flights to the mid-east, RJ and EK. Both offering prices over $2,500 on economy. I remembered that Delta had a very inexpensive service from JFK-AMM. I went to check, and I stumbled upon the Delta page stating that they have suspended service indefinitely. When I checked in January 2011 they were offering the flight from ORD connecting at JFK then onward to AMM for about $985 per passenger.

While I'm asking, any idea why RJ's fares are so high? I remember hearing Hussein Dabbas (CEO of RJ) say that, "Passengers are willing to pay a premium for our service." but is almost $1,500 more than the competition a 'premium?'

Thanks in advance for any help!


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13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinegoldorak From France, joined Sep 2006, 1853 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 8054 times:

DL dropped this flight (as well as others in Europe and Middle East) because they became unsustainable in the current economic climate and jet fuel price. Add to this the very likely low yields and you have the perfect conditions for axing the route. It's more efficient for DL to use the Skyteam partners connection possibilities to AMM, e.g. AF from CDG.

User currently offlineSurfandSnow From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 2888 posts, RR: 31
Reply 2, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 8032 times:

Quoting liftsifter (Thread starter):
This summer, I was planning on going to Jordan with my mom to visit family.

Having flown this sector myself (RJ AMM-JFK, back in the summer of 2008) I can definitely say that most people are doing the same as you. That is to say, most people flying between the U.S. and Jordan are your occasional VFR travelers that are usually paying the absolute lowest fares they can. Compare the long, thin, relatively low yielding JFK-AMM route with others to the region: a ton of oil money (i.e. JED/RUH, DOH), a steady flow of diplomatic/military traffic (i.e. KWI, BAH), and/or lots of business travelers (i.e. TLV, DXB).

Plus, market capitalized and profit-seeking SA)">DL was fighting state-subsidized RJ on the route, which could simply be serving the U.S. for reasons of political prestige. SA)">DL had to fill the plane with AMM's rather small O&D, while RJ benefited from tremendous feed on both ends of the route thanks to an SA)">AA oneworld codeshare on the JFK end and its own hub connectivity on the AMM end.

Quoting liftsifter (Thread starter):
I decided to check my first two choices for flights to the mid-east, RJ and EK.

This is the other issue when airlines like SA)">DL (and SA)">UA) fly to the region. The foreign choices are overwhelmingly preferred, especially by the high-yielding business pax. This leaves the U.S. carriers with no choice but to rely on connections and low fares to fill the plane.

I really do believe the U.S. airlines heavily cater to markets where they are superior (in terms of service, or at least public reputation) to their foreign competitors. This is why they are powerhouses when it comes to places like Mexico, Israel, India, and China, to name a few, but not the likes of Canada, Australia, South Korea, etc.

Quoting liftsifter (Thread starter):
While I'm asking, any idea why RJ's fares are so high? I remember hearing Hussein Dabbas (CEO of RJ) say that, "Passengers are willing to pay a premium for our service." but is almost $1,500 more than the competition a 'premium?'

I was very unimpressed by RJ's service, although I guess much of it had to do with the horrendous situation on the ground at AMM and by the time I finally got on the plane I slept almost the whole way to New York. In any case, I felt as though they were leagues behind EK, who I flew over on (JFK-DXB, on the 77W).

As for the fares, it is simple airline pricing 101. Offer cheap connections over your hub, while gouging the hub market itself. People flying stuff like JFK-AMM-DXB or JFK-AMM-BGW or whatever it may be could well be paying less than those just flying JFK-AMM. We see this happen all the time in the U.S. too. Growing up in Chicago's north suburbs, it was always interesting to search for flights on Orbitz from ORD with the nearby airport option. MKE was always cheaper (even before the whole SA)">YX/FL/WN/F9 brouhaha ensued), with MKE-ORD-XXX options on SA)">UA and SA)">AA being $100-$200 less than the SAME flights ORD-XXX.

Oh, and I guess I never really said WHY SA)">DL dropped the route.

http://news.cheapflights.com/delta-d...sume-cairo-flights-suspends-amman/

Apparently a combination of high oil prices and the ongoing Arab Spring events led SA)">DL to drop the route at the same time as it decided not to resume JFK-CAI. While the events in Jordan were nowhere near as tumultuous as those in many other nations, they made headlines nonetheless and probably scared off the tourists and even VFR needed to fill the plane. That said, Jordan is a BEAUTIFUL country. I would highly recommend going if you have not already. Even Amman is a cool city, I loved hanging out in Abdoun, not to mention the Dead Sea, Petra, and Aqaba resort.



Flying in the middle seat of coach is much better than not flying at all!
User currently offlinevincewy From Taiwan, joined Oct 2005, 767 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 8012 times:

I just price checked DTW-AMM, leaving before Xmas and returning after New Year for $1800, where did you get $2500? I can't imagine it being much higher, in fact, RJ is advertising this fare right now ($1200 RT + tax).

[Edited 2011-11-12 01:16:21]

User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3311 posts, RR: 12
Reply 4, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 7900 times:

You should check the price of buying two ticket via London. Since easyjet started flying LGW-AMM, both BD and RJ seem to have an almost permanent sale price of around GBP 225 rtn from LHR. A year ago GBP 450 was the cheapest you could find. I went to Jordan in Easter and delighted to get RJ for GBP 270. I looked yesterday and every date I looked for was at least GBP 50 lower than that.


http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
User currently offlineTurkishWings From United States of America, joined May 2006, 1450 posts, RR: 8
Reply 5, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 7876 times:

Did you check TK? They have some very good connections with around 2 hours transit time in IST.

I just checked some random dates and came up with 1700 USD. (ex-ORD). And if you fly out of JFK, the price for Eco Plus is just over 2000 USD.



Coffee - Tea or Me?
User currently offlineliftsifter From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 317 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 7582 times:

Quoting TurkishWings (Reply 5):
Did you check TK?

When I was checking around, both TK and Alitalia had much higher prices then my decided upon VS/BD route.

Quoting vincewy (Reply 3):
where did you get $2500?

Via RJ's website, at the time they were only offering a flexible fare, nothing less.

Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 2):
That said, Jordan is a BEAUTIFUL country. I would highly recommend going if you have not already. Even Amman is a cool city, I loved hanging out in Abdoun, not to mention the Dead Sea, Petra, and Aqaba resort.

I've been to Jordan many times, even at some points, extending to three months at a time.

Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 2):
I was very unimpressed by RJ's service

That's something that turns off tourism to Jordan. The single non-stop gateway into Jordan from the US is RJ and with so many negative reports, that really pushes people away. RJ has to grasp that as much as they modernize the fleet, and upgrade on-board services, quite a bit of the experience is on the ground, and poor ground staff, poor ground service and grumpy crew don't add for a nice experience. Given, RJ doesn't exactly have the funds for something like what EK can pull off, but they can at least improve ground and air quality.



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User currently onlineklwright69 From Saudi Arabia, joined Jan 2000, 2076 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 7230 times:

Regarding RJ and DL....

A few weeks ago I flew DEN-ORD-AMM-RUH. ORD-AMM-RUH was on RJ. I would like to comment on RJ since I have actually flown them recently. I was looking forward to them as it was my first time on them.

I think some are being overly harsh, speaking about it like a 3rd world carrier. Except for a few of the absolute best or worst airlines, I think airlines are often a mixed bag of experiences, really.

RJ seems more like a US carrier in terms of service. ORD-AMM was pretty average. The crew was average, the dinner was poor, but the breakfast was quite good actually. In flight entertainment was actually respectable, with on-demand movies. Usually on a long flight, the final meal/snack is a joke. The fact that this wasn't was a surprise on this flight. In flight entertainment was was much better than say AA's ancient 767 to DUB from ORD with communal overhead screens. The restrooms remained clean through the flight. Not like on my EY flight from JFK to AUH, where half of the toilets were roped off and were out of order. That was real strange, but EY has great flight attendants on the other hand.

The flight from AMM-RUH was only 2.5 hours and there was a choice of 3 hot meals for dinner (not 2). Which was impressive. And the crew on that flight was better. Both flights were completely full (actually maybe a couple vacant seats on ORD-AMM, in the month of October)

RJ allows for two pieces of checked luggage for no charge, which is very important to me. For example, AA/BA allows for only one between the middle east and the US, which is unimpressive. Baggage allowance is very important for some of us, and the rules vary among carriers.

RJ is not the greatest, but I would consider them again for the right fare. it seemed better shorthaul than longhaul.

Many passengers were connecting in AMM, which is a quaint and sleepy little airport. All RJ's flights I noticed from AMM were on-time. Not a bad sign. But that airport again shows you are not in a big money destination.

Back on the topic, DL pulling the plug on JFK-AMM is not a surprise, and the reasons are no mystery. It was not profitable. The Arab spring was not a factor since there was no revolution or unrest in Jordan. Were any other major routes pulled from Jordan, I don't believe so...RJ has lots of connections in AMM, with 3 US gateways. I am sure the traffic on the DL flight was insanely seasonal as well as low yielding. And RJ offers more US gateways. European airlines also offer plenty of competition to AMM as well. My friends from Jordan tell me there really is only tourism there. An American friend who is well-traveled told me he thought the country is a great tourism destination but it seemed economically depressed to him. It has been brought up that there is no oil traffic and no big business travel market. I was shocked when DL launched this route. I wondered how hard they researched the economics. Long, thin, seasonal, and low yielding. All geopolitical considerations aside, this route wasn't going to last folks. Doomed from the start... Oh, and Jordan is at the top of my list for countries to visit. I can't wait to go.. Don't get me wrong, I thought this route was crazy, but Jordan is a wonderful destination. This topic came up once before and some thought I was trying to down Jordan. Not so at all.


User currently offlineliftsifter From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 317 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 6353 times:

Somehow, this argument that there wasn't money there doesn't quite do it, because I've had relatives fly DL on JFK-AMM and they said that the flight was actually over booked. Which sort of tells me that the route was yielding pretty highly. The reason there needs to be more Jordan-US flights is because Jordan is basically a hub to the Levant. There's no direct flight from the US to Palestinian territories, so Palestinians fly RJ. There's no direct option from to Lebannon, Syria, Iraq, and even Saudi Arabia from ORD. So RJ plays a very significant role in getting passengers to the Levant from ORD.


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User currently offlinesaloman From Canada, joined Jun 2011, 122 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 6247 times:

Quoting liftsifter (Reply 8):
Somehow, this argument that there wasn't money there doesn't quite do it, because I've had relatives fly DL on JFK-AMM and they said that the flight was actually over booked. Which sort of tells me that the route was yielding pretty highly.

Unless your relatives asked those passengers how much they paid for their tickets, then it doesn't tell you a thing about yields.

Low-yield passengers will typically settle for a connection if it means saving cash. As has been mentioned, there is no shortage of european hubs that serve this role nicely.


User currently offlinegeorgiaame From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 987 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 6025 times:

Not that I want to start a new Middle East War, but don't be TOO hard on DL as far as price or schedules go. I got the bright idea of something "relatively" inexpensive from here into Tel Aviv, then a connection into Amman. Royal Jordanian will be charging about $750rt, mid week, next month for a round trip TLV-AMM. The bad news is that your folks would probably have to re-mortgage the house to make the trip. But the good news is that you would probably be the only 2 people on the flight - kind of like being on your own private business jet. Alas, someday, politics being what they are in that part of the world... Good luck, and have a very safe journey.


"Trust, but verify!" An old Russian proverb, quoted often by a modern American hero
User currently offlineEL-AL From Israel, joined Oct 2001, 1322 posts, RR: 13
Reply 11, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 4775 times:

Quoting georgiaame (Reply 10):
I got the bright idea of something "relatively" inexpensive from here into Tel Aviv, then a connection into Amman. Royal Jordanian will be charging about $750rt, mid week, next month for a round trip TLV-AMM. The bad news is that your folks would probably have to re-mortgage the house to make the trip. But the good news is that you would probably be the only 2 people on the flight - kind of like being on your own private business jet.

You can have a private taxi taking you from Ben Gurion airport to Amman city center for less money and less time!

TLV-AMM (just 112km) is really just for passengers connecting in AMM for far east flights. Tourists to Jordan cross the border on bus.



"In Israel, on order to be a realist, one's must believe in miracles" - David Ben Gurion.
User currently offlineliftsifter From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 317 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 4731 times:

Does anyone have an answer as to why RJ is so expensive on the ORD-AMM route, but is almost $500 cheaper on the YUL-AMM route. Do they suffer to gain yield on that route?


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User currently offlineNYC2TLV From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 4104 times:

Quoting liftsifter (Thread starter):
While I'm asking, any idea why RJ's fares are so high? I remember hearing Hussein Dabbas (CEO of RJ) say that, "Passengers are willing to pay a premium for our service." but is almost $1,500 more than the competition a 'premium?'

I have been looking at flights for the holidays on all carriers. I guess that RJ don't consider them a premium product on the NYC-TLV route. Their fares are routinely the lowest with TK and UN.


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