Royal Jordanian Airlines is planning to resume its flights to Syria. It has been almost a decade since Jordan’s flag carrier flew directly between Damascus and Amman, but attempts to boost trade between Jordan and Syria are set to see these services resume. This comes after the main border crossing between the two countries fully re-opened this week.
Plans to resume services
Amman-based oneworld member Royal Jordanian Airlines is preparing to begin flying to Syria once again. Reuters reported earlier in the week that this will represent the Jordanian flag carrier’s first direct services between its Amman Queen Alia International (AMM) hub and Damascus International (DAM), Syria’s busiest airport, for nearly a decade.
Indeed, the Syrian Civil War prompted airlines to withdraw their services to Damascus in the early 2010s. Royal Jordanian was one of these, doing so in July 2012. However, Jordan now hopes to restore its business ties with Syria, and fully re-opened its main border crossing this week. This is a key milestone for international trade in the region.
Before the war, the crossing at Nasib-Jaber was part of a route that allowed goods to be transported by road from Europe to the Gulf via Turkey. The chairman of Jordan’s customs clearance companies’ association, Daif Allah Abu Akula, described it as “an important step to ease the flow of goods between the two countries and Lebanon and the Gulf.”
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Awaiting final government approval
At the time of the border’s full re-opening, October 3rd was touted as a potential date for Royal Jordanian’s resumption of flights between Amman and Damascus. However, the airline reportedly stated earlier this week that this date was a little premature.
The reason for this is that Royal Jordanian is still awaiting final government approval to recommence its services on the Amman-Damascus route. Correspondingly, Damascus did not appear as a bookable destination on the Jordanian flag carrier’s website at the time of writing. Simple Flying has reached out to Royal Jordanian for further information.
Present travel options
While Royal Jordanian isn’t set to begin flying from Amman to Damascus quite yet, it does have an alternative up its sleeve. Indeed, Reuters reports that the airline will be offering a land-based shuttle service as a temporary measure until its air services recommence. As seen in the map above, the airports are just over three hours away from one another.
Patient passengers who would rather fly than drive do also still have options. A quick look on Skyscanner shows that air travelers can travel between the two cities via Baghdad, Iraq. The journey takes six hours and 20 minutes, and features both Royal Jordanian and Fly Baghdad. However, the direct land-based shuttle seems the most practical solution at this moment in time. It will be interesting to see when flights can resume for good.
What do you make of Royal Jordanian’s plans to resume service between Amman and Damascus? Have you ever flown with the airline? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments.