Jordan is one of the most beautiful – and safest – countries in the Middle East.

Its historic and archaeological treasures are remarkable.

There’s the must-see “Baptism Site of Jesus” along the Jordan River, with the actual archaeological remains of “Bethany Beyond the Jordan.”

The gorgeous and mysterious city of Petra, for example, was made famous in the third film of the Indiana Jones series, “Indian Jones and the Last Crusade.”

This capital of the ancient Nabataean Arabs “is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world,” notes an official Jordan tourism website. “Located 240 kilometers south of the capital Amman, and 120 kilometers north of the Red Sea town of Aqaba, Petra is undoubtedly Jordan’s most valuable treasure and greatest tourist attraction, and it is visited by tourists from all over the world.”

The spectacular deserts of Wadi Rum were the location for blockbuster movies like Lawrence of Arabia and the live-action version of Aladdin.

 

Hot-air balloon festival in Wadi Rum desert, Jordan, October 1, 2021. (Photo: REUTERS/Alaa Al Sukhni)

 

And so much more.

Now, United Airlines is making it far easier for Americans to travel to the Hashemite Kingdom.

This week, United launched its route connecting Amman, the capital of Jordan, and Washington D.C.

The first flight from D.C. landed at Queen Alia International Airport in Amman on Monday.

“With the introduction of this new capital-to-capital route – the first-ever nonstop service between Amman and Washington D.C. – United is the only U.S. airline flying from Jordan with this new three-times weekly nonstop service between Queen Alia International Airport and its hub at Washington Dulles,” stated a United press release.

A water salute marked the arrival of United flight 526 from Washington Dulles Airport.

“It is so wonderful to arrive in Amman on our Boeing 787 Dreamliner today,” said Patrick Quayle, United’s Senior Vice President International Network and Alliances. “As the only U.S. airline flying from Jordan direct to the U.S., our new service strengthens our international route network and provides our customers from Jordan with convenient one-stop connections via our Washington Dulles hub to destinations across the Americas.”

 

Bethany Beyond the Jordan (Photo: baptismsite.com)

 

Nayef Al-fayez, Jordan’s Minister of Tourism and Antiquities and chairman of Jordan Tourism Board (JTB), said that this first U.S. direct flight linking the two capitals is a major step for the kingdom in the field of tourism, and he hopes it will encourage Americans to come to Jordan and discover the treasures of the Hashemite Kingdom.

U.S. Ambassador to Jordan Henry T. Wooster agreed.

“We’re always happy to see stronger connections between Jordan and the United States that strengthen our two countries’ economies and partnership,” Wooster said. “This new direct connection between our two capitals benefits Jordanians and Americans individually and our two economies overall, whether it be facilitating tourism, improving business connections, or sparking new educational collaboration. I look forward to seeing United’s flights bring our countries closer together.”

 

Serpent Cross at the top of Mount Nebo in Jordan, place where Moses viewed the Holy Land (Photo: Shutterstock)

 

Someone heading to Amman from Washington Dulles Airport on July 2 and returning on July 13, for example, can travel economy class for about $1,661 roundtrip.

This new route is part of United’s largest transatlantic expansion in its history, in anticipation of a strong recovery in European summer travel, the release noted.

“In total, United will launch or resume 30 transatlantic flights from mid-April through to early June. In addition to Amman, this includes new nonstop flights to distinctive leisure destinations no other North American airline serves such as Bergen, Norway; Azores, Portugal; Palma de Mallorca, Spain and Tenerife in the Spanish Canary Islands. The airline is also launching five new nonstop flights from some of Europe’s most popular business and tourist hubs including London, Milan, Zurich, Munich and Nice.”

 

Ancient Roman ruins in Jerash, Jordan (Photo: Shutterstock)

 

“United’s transatlantic route network will be more than 25% larger than it was in 2019. With this expansion, United will serve more transatlantic destinations than every other U.S. carrier combined and will be the largest airline across the Atlantic for the first time in history.”

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