Spectacular mountain and coastal scenery is simply an added coastal scenery is simply an added bonus for the growing numbers of passengers using Aqaba International Airport (AIA) as a gateway to the Red Sea region. The reason is that no matter whether passengers are taking off for a five-hour flight to Paris or landing after 50-minute flight from Amman, AIA always seems to impress. From the area’s spectacular scenery and glorious weather to the airport’s international-standard runway and spacious terminal, from its enviable operational record – including near-perfect punctuality – right down to Royal Jordanian’s friendly check-in and efficient ground handling staff, AIA scores on every count.
Served by Royal Wings’ twice-daily, Dash 8-operated scheduled services to and from Queen Alia International Airport (QAIA) and Amman-Marka International Airport (AMIA), AIA is also served by non-scheduled services operated by Royal Jordanian (usually using A320s) , Virgin Express (B737s), Aeroflot (TU154s) , Condor (MD81/82s), Orca Air (Fairchild Metros) and others. Increasing numbers of charter flights are responding to the growing demand for holiday’s in the Red Sea region, including cruise holidays centered on the Port of Aqaba. Also an increasingly popular venue for aerial sports such as gliding, parachuting and, in the future, microlighting, AIA recently hosted a major international skydivers’ convention – only the second open-to-all, civilian oriented championships ever staged in the Middle East.
An amazing variety of aircraft and people pass through AIA, and traffic ranges from giant Galaxy C5s, B747-400s, VC10s and Antonov 124s operating special services , to smaller Gulfstream IV executive jets – undoubtedly on business – and the tiny Extra-300s of the Royal Jordanian Falcons – unashamedly on display. They flock to Aqaba for all sorts of reasons, not least AIA’s extraordinary capacity and its proven ability to handle all types of traffic. Capable of handling up to 1.5 million passengers a year and able to accommodate the world ’s largest aircraft on its ILS Cat 1-equipped, 3,000-meter runway, the airport has become the obvious choice for the increasing numbers of airlines and operators coming to the area.