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Royal Jordanian suspends flights hit by Arab Spring

National carrier slashes trips to five destinations citing regional unrest and the rising cost of fuel

AFP, Tuesday 7 Feb 2012
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National carrier Royal Jordanian said Tuesday it plans to suspend flights to five European and Gulf destinations over high fuel prices and a slump in passenger traffic because of the Arab Spring.

"In the coming two months, flights to Brussels, Munich and the Emirati city of Al-Ain will be suspended," Hussein Dabbas, RJ chief executive officer, said in a statement.
 
"Flights to two more Gulf destinations will be suspended later."
 
Dabbas said RJ's decision "came in light of the current high prices of fuel as well as a decline in passenger traffic due to Arab Spring repercussions."
 
"Soaring fuel prices had a dire effect on RJ. Last year the airline spent 293 million dinars ($413 million) to purchase fuel for its carriers, compared to 203 million dinars the previous year, or a 44 per cent increase, while operating costs went up by 20 per cent," he said.
 
Dabbas added that passenger travel to several Arab cities has significantly dropped.
 
"At the same time, tourists from Europe are no longer interested in visiting the region ... This has forced RJ to cancel more 1,300 flights last year," he said.
 
Pro-democracy revolts across the Arab world are taking their toll on tourism in cash-strapped Jordan, where revenues from the key source of hard currency earnings have dropped by 16 per cent this year.
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