Anyway with reduced landing fees we may see more carrier returning to KUL.
Royal Jordanian Airlines set to fly direct from Amman to KL
December 13, 2001
Royal Jordanian Airlines set to fly direct from Amman to KL, BUSINESS TIMES
Kang Siew Li
ASIA WorldSources, Inc. 1100 MERCANTILE LANE, SUITE 119 LARGO, MD 20774 COPYRIGHT 2001 BY WORLDSOURCES, INC., A JOINT VENTURE OF FDCH, INC. AND WORLD TIMES, INC. NO PORTION OF THE MATERIALS CONTAINED HEREIN MAY BE USED IN ANY MEDIA WITHOUT ATTRIBUTION TO WORLDSOURCES, INC.
ROYAL Jordanian Airlines is expected to introduce direct flights between Amman and Kuala Lumpur from June next year, in line with its plan to make Malaysia its regional hub for Asia Pacific.
At present, the airline offers two flights a week (Thursdays and Sundays) to Amman from Kuala Lumpur via Doha.
Royal Jordanian sales manager Wilson Chan said the airlines also intends to increase its flight frequencies from the current twice a week to three times a week.
''We are currently looking for a new aircraft to replace the existing Airbus 310 to enable us to operate direct services between Amman and Kuala Lumpur.
''We have yet to decide on the aircraft, but we will be using either the A340s or the Boeing 777s,'' he told Business Times in an interview.
''We hope everything would come²out as planned by June next year,'' he added.
Chan said the airline met with Malaysia Airlines senior officials in Kuala Lumpur last October to discuss various aspects of the cooperation between Royal Jordanian and the national flag carrier.
''Discussions centered around the possibility of using the KL International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang as a regional hub where all Royal Jordanian flights between Amman and points in Asia-Pacific stop over and hub in KLIA,'' he explained.
Royal Jordanian currently serves two cities in Asia-Pacific: Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta.
Chan said the discussions also included the possibility of a code sharing arrangement or a strategic partnership with Malaysia Airlines to carry Royal Jordanian passengers to destinations beyond Kuala Lumpur.
''For example, a code sharing arrangement will greatly increase our connectivity to cities throughout the Asia-Pacific. It will allow us to sell seats to destinations such as China, Vietnam, Australia or New Zealand where we currently do not fly to,'' he explained.
The two carriers already code-share on flights between Amman and Kuala Lumpur that allows Malaysia Airlines passengers to travel on Royal Jordanian using the same flight code.
Chan said the airline is still in the midst of its discussions with Malaysia Airlines and expects to have an agreement finalized by June 2002 in line with the acquisition of its new aircraft.
He noted that today the load factor, or percentage of seats filled, on Royal Jordanian's flights to Amman from Kuala Lumpur hovers around 85 per cent, close to that of the previous year.
''The September 11 2001 terrorist attacks on the US didn't affect us much because of the types of passengers we carry,'' said Chan.
Royal Jordanian stops at Jakarta before it arrives in Kuala Lumpur on Mondays and Fridays.
Chan said passengers from Indonesia usually fill 60 per cent of the seats, leaving the remaining 40 per cent to be filled up by passengers from Kuala Lumpur. There are 17 seats in business class and 193 seats in economy class.
''Religious traffic comprises about 60 per cent of passengers from Indonesia, while the remaining 40 per cent comes from labor traffic.
About 80 per cent of passengers from Kuala Lumpur, meanwhile, are on religious pilgrimages and the rest are individual travelers.
''And despite all that has happened since September 11, it seems that many people are still making trips to Jordan to visit its historical and religious sites before proceeding to Mecca and Jerusalem,'' he added.
However, the same cannot be said for Royal Jordanian's flights from Amman to Kuala Lumpur. The airline's passenger load factor has dropped significantly to 50 to 60 per cent in October as demand weakened in the wake of the September 11 terror attacks. Prior to September 11, the load factor stood at about 80 per cent to 90 per cent.
Chan pointed out that the large decline in load factor cannot be blamed entirely on the tragic events in the US, although it had deterred many Europeans from travelling to this part of the world.
''Based on our records in the previous year, we saw a decline in the number of West Asian passengers travelling to Malaysia during this time of year because that's when school reopens.
''Thus, regardless of September 11, the inbound passenger traffic from West Asia will still be low,'' he said, adding that most of the passengers arriving in Kuala Lumpur are leisure travelers.
Meanwhile, in response to the temporary suspension of the price regulating Market Development Program (MDP) on November 12 2001, Royal Jordanian has reduced its fares to all European and West Asia destinations by as much as 20 per cent.
However, Chan said it is still too soon to gauge the potential success of the suspension, but, like Malaysia Airlines, the airline believes it will help boost passenger numbers.
''The suspension of the MDP doesn't mean all airlines will start lowering their fares to lure passengers back into the air. It depends on the needs of each individual airline.
''Those with plenty of seats and capacity are more likely to drop their fares and they are more likely to be carriers that provide a direct service,'' said Chan.
That's why foreign carriers such as Royal Jordanian have favored the MDP, which specifies that tickets can only be discounted to a maximum percentage of their fare.
However, Chan said the airline understands that under the current situation where airlines are suffering from the combination of a weak global economy and fear of flying after the September 11 attacks, the need for Malaysia Airlines to suspend the MDP in order to compete on price.
Copyright 2001 BUSINESS TIMES all rights reserved as distributed by WorldSources, Inc.
Taken from : http://www.globalsources.com/TNTLIST/2001/12/13/xfdws/1691-1354-ROYAL-JORDANIAN-AIRLI.sked..htm
Oh yeah and their livery is great !!
Photo © Remi Dallot