An agreement was signed in Jordan on Sunday to establish an airline with a joint Saudi-Jordanian capital of $20 million that will provide flights from the coastal city of Aqaba in the far south of the Kingdom to Arab and European countries, according to the official Jordan News Agency, Petra, quoting an official in the Aqaba Economic Zone Authority.
The Chairman of the Board of Commissioners at the Aqaba Economic Zone Authority, Nayef Bakheet, said that the authority “signed on Sunday a joint Jordanian-Saudi investment agreement to establish a privately-owned FlyAqaba airline with a capital of $20 million, to be headquartered in the city of Aqaba” on the Red Sea, 332 km south of Amman.
The Aqaba Economic Zone Authority is a financially and administratively independent institution responsible for managing, organizing and developing the Aqaba Economic Zone.
Al-Bakhit explained in his statements that “the company will operate two planes as a first stage to facilitate the arrival of tourists to Jordan in general and the Golden Triangle area in particular.”
The areas of Aqaba, the ancient city of Petra and the Wadi Rum desert are called the Golden Triangle, as they are the most prominent tourist destinations in the Kingdom.
Bakhit confirmed that “the company, which was officially registered in the Aqaba Authority as the first investment in the field of aviation, will organize flights from King Hussein bin Talal Airport (in Aqaba) to the capital, Amman, and European, Arab and Gulf countries at competitive prices.”
The official did not specify when the flights would start.
“The agreement will contribute to increasing the volume of foreign tourism to Aqaba by linking it with the countries of the world with airlines at competitive prices,” said Fadi Abu Arish, Executive Director of Fly Aqaba.
Jordan’s economy, with a population of about 10 million people, and the desert making up about 92% of its land area, depends largely on its tourism income, which constitutes between 12 to 14% of the gross domestic product.
The Saudi ambassador to Jordan, Nayef bin Bandar Al-Sudairy, stated on February 8 that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is one of the largest investors in Jordan, with investments amounting to about $13 billion in the fields of transportation, energy, infrastructure, financial and commercial sectors, and tourism construction.