Picture from Ryanair.

MIAMI —  Ryanair announced the launch of their first flights to Jordan with a total of 14 routes between the Amman and Aqaba airports, with an aim to carry over 500,000 passengers per year from the region.

This is a massive gamechanger for the carrier as they are slowly beginning to expand their portfolio away from Europe and into more thriving markets.

READ MORE: flydubai to Launch New Services to Jordan and Greece

“Ryanair is pleased to announce our entry into the Jordanian market from March 2018, initially with one route from Paphos in Cyprus to Amman commencing in March, and growing to 10 from October, as part of our Winter 2018 schedule,” Ryanair’s David O’Brien said.

“Flights to Aqaba will commence in October with 4 routes, which will deliver almost 500,000 Ryanair customers p.a. at Amman and Aqaba airports.”

H.E. Minister of Tourism & Antiquities and Chairwoman of the Jordan Tourism Board, Ms. Lina Mazhar Annab also commented on the expansion concerning its benefits.

READ MORE: Ryanair Announce 10 New French Routes

“Ryanair’s decision to fly to Jordan sends a loud and clear message about the diversity and the untapped potential of Jordan’s tourism product. It also shows confidence in the tourism industry in Jordan, which has witnessed double-digit growth in the past year,” she said.

Regarding the operations out of Amman and Aqaba, the route launches are as follows:

  • Amman Year-Round Schedule:
    • Paphos – 1 New Route from March on a four times per week basis.
    • Bologna – 2 weekly. [Launching October]
    • Brussels Zaventem – 2 weekly. [Launching October]
    • Bucharest – 2 weekly. [Launching October]
    • Budapest – 2 weekly. [Launching October]
    • Krakow – 2 weekly. [Launching October]
    • Milan Bergamo – 3 weekly. [Launching October]
    • Paphos – 2 weekly. [Launching October]
    • Prague – 2 weekly. [Launching October]
    • Vilnius – 2 weekly. [Launching October]
    • Warsaw Modlin – 2 weekly. [Launching October]
    • The Amman schedules will carry around 430,000 customers per year and support over 300 on-site jobs.
  • Aqaba Winter 2018 Schedule:
    • Athens – 2 weekly. [Launching October]
    • Cologne – 2 weekly. [Launching October]
    • Rome Ciampino – 2 weekly. [Launching October]
    • Sofia – 2 weekly. [Launching October]
    • The Aqaba schedules will carry around 55,000 customers per year and support 40 on-site jobs.
READ MORE: Ryanair Announces $300m Investment at Manchester Airport

Concerning benefits for flyers, there could be connections onto Dubai and beyond.

With FlyDubai connecting the UAE from Jordan on a cheap, low-cost basis, it could prove that the stopover is more beneficial regarding cost than flying direct with the likes of Emirates and Etihad respectively.

Moreover, for Middle-Eastern carriers operating into Europe already, it could pose a more competitive danger as Ryanair would be able to thrive far quickly concerning price wars.

READ MORE: Royal Jordanian to Launch Copenhagen Service in June

As Ryanair starts to receive the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft on order, and more of the newest 737-800NGs, they will be able to expand further into the Middle-East from the more popular European central points and start to erode the market share that Middle-Eastern carriers have when operating into Europe.

It will be interesting to see how the likes of Jordanian Airlines respond to this as such expansive measures taken by Ryanair could potentially affect the airline’s revenues if they are forced to bring their prices down.

Overall, it shows that the Middle Eastern market will now eventually heat up, especially with Ryanair starting to establish their position in that market. It should only be a matter of time before their operations are significant enough to reduce competition.