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Cablegate: Rj Finalizes Codeshare with America West, But

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

091644Z Dec 03

UNCLAS AMMAN 007989

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

USDOC 4520/ITA/MAC/ONE/PTHANOS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAIR EINV JO IZ
SUBJECT: RJ FINALIZES CODESHARE WITH AMERICA WEST, BUT
STILL LOOKING FOR BETTER DEAL

REF: A. SECSTATE 162145

B. AMMAN 7647

Sensitive but Unclassified

1. (SBU) On December 6, Royal Jordanian Airlines (RJ)
finalized a memorandum of understanding with America West
Airlines (AW) providing for a codeshare arrangement between
RJ flights originating/ending in New York (Kennedy) and
Chicago (O'Hare) and connecting AW flights going to Phoenix
and Las Vegas airports. U.S. and Jordanian civil aviation
authorities will still need to give their approvals to this
document before both sides can sign, and RJ has been told by
the Jordan Civil Aviation Authority to expect a 90-day wait
prior to its decision. RJ Deputy President for Commercial
Services Ghassan Ali estimates that the agreement is three to
six months from full implementation, as the two airlines'
computer systems and their flight scheduling will have to be
reconciled following the signing of the codeshare.

2. (SBU) COMMENT: The finalization of this codesharing
agreement is the most significant and concrete step so far in
a long and frustrating struggle by RJ to find an American
airline to partner with for a codeshare. The arrangement
would allow the growing stream of American government
personnel that has been entering Jordan since March to travel
on RJ flights between Amman and the U.S. without violating
the Fly America Act. RJ has made approaches over the past
two years to American Northwest, Continental, Delta, and
United Airlines, all without success (Reftel A). This has
been partially because these airlines and their existing
codeshare partners have worried about cannibalization of
their routes by RJ. While a codeshare with a minor airline
like AW, which has very limited service to U.S. cities served
by RJ, avoids this obstacle, it is far from an optimal
solution for RJ, which wants to hook into a large US route
network.

3. (SBU) RJ is therefore continuing to pursue an agreement
with Northwest Airlines, which RJ believes would make a
better partner based on the strength of Northwest's Detroit
hub, to which RJ has flights. RJ has made contact with the
Detroit Airport Authority which has shown interest in backing
RJ's position as Detroit positions itself as an entrepot to
the Arab world. RJ also strongly hopes that it will become a
more attractive partner if/when it is able to finalize a
codeshare deal with a new Iraqi flag carrier (Reftel B). END
COMMENT.
HALE

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