The geopolitical circumstances in the Middle East are creating very interesting if not strange situations. One of these is the fact that Jordan’s capital Amman has become Israel’s hub to the Far East.
EL AL, the Israeli airline, flies to some Far East destinations, using a safe route over the Red Sea. Because of the direct flights the fares on these routes are relatively high.
Many Israelis are flying with Royal Jordanian from Ben-Gurion airport to Queen Alia airport in Amman. From there they take flights operated by the Jordanian airline to far eastern destinations but to many more. These who fly to Europe and the US are crossing the Israeli airspace on their way to their destination. According to the peace treaty Jordan is using the Israeli airspace for westbound flights.
The situation encouraged Israeli airline Israir to enter this market and it will soon begin to operate two daily flights from Ben-Gurion to Queen Alia. These flights will be operated with the ATR 72-500 recently purchased by the airline. In 2010 115,000 Israelis took the short flight from Israel to Jordan and the number increases all the time.
So, Amman has become an “Israeli” hub that many use for cheaper flights. Ben-Gurion can only look enviously over the border. In the current situation in the Middle East, those envious looks will be there for a long time.