Jordan Express Tourist Transport: Transport

THE COMPANY: Jordan Express Tourist Transport (JETT) is a publicly listed company with JD10.8m ($15.18m) in paid-in capital that provides passenger and tourist transport services. JETT transports passengers between Jordan’s main cities and from Jordan to Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and the UAE using its own fleet or in partnership with other Arab carriers. The passenger transportation is carried out by JETT’s subsidiary, Passenger Transport Company, which in turns owns a subsidiary that provides passenger transport for VIPs. JETT’s fleet of 200 buses includes vehicles with capacities of up to 51, 30, 25, 18, and 10 passengers, along with services that range from satellite TV and internet connectivity to on-board amenities such as audio and video entertainment.

JETT is best known for transporting local and foreign tourists to Jordan’s main attractions, which include Aqaba, Petra, Wadi Rum and the Dead Sea. The most recent figures show that JETT accounts for 40% of the kingdom’s tourist transport sector. In addition, JETT rents buses to small and large tourist groups and transports pilgrims to the Islamic holy sites in Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj and Umra. JETT’s offerings include specialised limousine services, which are offered through the company’s partnership with the Middle East Tours and Limousine Services Company. This company provides specialised transport services to VIPs, including businessmen and foreign dignitaries.

In the third quarter of 2011, JETT announced JD1.2m ($1.69m) in net income and JD9.4m ($13.21m) in revenue. JETT’s net income in the first nine months of 2011 represented a JD1.1m ($1.55m) decline from the net income reported over the same period of 2010. Moreover, passenger transportation accounted for 64% of the company’s revenue. The drop in net income and the dominance of the passenger segment reflect the 16% drop in Jordan’s tourism activity, which was mainly due to the uncertainty generated by the Arab Spring.

RISKS: As a transportation company, JETT is subject to a wide range of business risks. The Arab Spring and the local and regional instability it brought affected the tourism sector and especially transportation to some of the company’s main regional destinations, such as Egypt, Syria and Lebanon. Moreover, JETT has suffered from the unregulated competition of local companies, such as local passenger transport companies, university fleets and even privately owned buses, minivans and cars. Finally, JETT faces the challenge of high oil costs and the possibility of higher taxes and tariffs. In addition, the company is exposed to the somewhat limiting conditions of Jordan’s local road infrastructure.

DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY: JETT’s development strategy is based on expansion and differentiation. JETT has added many new local and international routes to its network over the years, and started a two services between the northern Jordanian city of Irbid and Cairo. However, the continued expansions of the company’s network to regional destinations faces intense competition from the airline industry and is exposed to the risks of the region’s instability. The effects of such instability is very clear on the company’s operations to Syria and Lebanon, which the firm will have to create a solid strategy to deal with.

JETT managed to differentiate itself by continuously introducing the latest comfort and entertainment solutions, including an online reservations system, internet connectivity, customised services to VIPs, and building a fuel and rest station on the way between Amman and Aqaba. Moreover, JETT outfits its buses with the latest safety measures, including a mobile maintenance station and GPS services.

As a service company, JETT understands the importance of its human resources, and its strategy for the long term is to develop this capital. Aside from having in-house training, JETT has recently ended the practice of hiring employees on limited-time horizon contracts. Every employee under this type of contract became a permanent member of staff of the company. Moreover, JETT increased the salaries of its employees to boost morale and increase productivity.

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