The recently privatised national airline carried 215,000 passengers in May 2008, compared to 166,000 in the same month last year.

In the first five months of 2008, passenger numbers have risen 21 per cent, while fuel costs have increased by 91 per cent. The rise in passengers comes despite the airline’s use of fuel surcharges on its fares to compensate for the higher fuel costs.

Company president and chief executive officer Samer Majali says that fuel now constitutes 45 per cent of the airline’s total costs. In May, fuel costs rose to JD26.5m ($37.4m) for the month, up from JD12.6m last year.

Majali recently confirmed that the airline aims to increase its use of fuel hedging tools to mitigate its costs, and is seeking compensation from Boeing for the delays to its 787 Dreamliner aircraft from the US manufacturer (MEED 6:6:08).