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World Economic Forum discusses open skies to boost region's tourism

Posted 28 May 2015 · Add Comment

In a session titled "Rebooting the tourism industry" at the World Economic Forum, held on the 22nd of May 2015, on the shores of the Dead Sea, the airline industry was invoked and its role in "airlifting" tourists into the region, reports Radi Radi.

Gerard Lawless, president of Jumeirah Group, a panelists in the session emphasized the role of airlines in bringing in the tourists which are badly region in the Levant region.

His comments included an appeal to regional states to enter into Open Skies Agreements, which will allow the regional players to bring in more tourists.

Dr. Mohammed Al Ississ, AUC, moderator of the session directed the comment to Capt. Haitham Misto, Royal Jordanian Airlines President/CEO, while remarking on the ongoing debate between the ME3 and the US3.

Misto spoke about the perceived advantages and subsidies of the ME3 and Turkish Airlines. "One example is the exclusivity given to the gulf carriers in ground handling in their home bases." Said Capt. Misto, "The core business can yield between two and three percent return on investment, while the ancillaries are actually what make or break an airline." Capt. Misto added

Hani Al Mulki, Chief Commissioner of Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) of the audience commented that since Lawless previously agreed with Dubai government in leveling the playing field between hotels and B&Bs, he has to agree to Misto's comments about fair skies that guarantee no unfair advantages for carriers that have a strong government backing, and leveling the field should be done by one standard set of regulations across the region.

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