- Royal Jordanian has established itself as the airline of the Levant.
- The airline uses smaller aircraft and increased frequency, helping it achieve “relatively” good yields and payloads.
- Royal Jordanian says its fleet will increase from 28 to 45 over the next two years.
Royal Jordanian Airlines plays an important role in the Levant and Near East. Apart from Jordan, this region includes Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, and many other trouble spots in the world. Speaking at Rootworld in Istanbul, the company’s CEO Summer Majali talked about its strategy and focus. Royal Jordanian Airlines, which carries about 3 million passengers a year, is, in the words of one, “Gazelle among elephants” but It has found its niche.
Mr. Majali is a 44-year veteran of the aviation industry. He joined Jordanian Airways in 1979, and has since held various other roles, including founding the airline Saudi Gulf. He returned to Royal Jordanian in 2021 during the pandemic and contributed to the airline’s next phase of growth.
“We are sandwiched between global airlines, particularly Emirates, Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines. This means we need to find a niche market in which we can compete. Our focus is on connecting the Levant on a short-haul, regional and long-haul basis.”
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Amman is the center of nature
Like other companies, airlines are trying to solve problems such as too high fares, unserved or underserved markets, inadequate quality, or poor connectivity by incumbent airlines. We solve problems effectively.
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Royal Jordanian aims to solve connectivity problems across the Levant and all its activities revolve around this. Majali specifically singled out Syria as a country he would like to return to.
The strategy the company adapted was also helped in part by the inability of other airlines to compete in the European-Far East market because they had much larger aircraft with lower seat-mile costs. Mr Majali said:
“Amman is a natural hub for the Levant. We support Amman by serving many secondary and major airports across the region, including six airports in Iraq. We will provide you with the best possible connection.”
We use smaller aircraft to increase frequency, often operating multiple flights each day, and more than daily flights are important.Achieves relatively good yield and loading capacity [crucial to offset the higher seat-mile costs]. ”
Photo: James Pearson | Simple Flight
Deploying 45 aircraft “over the next two years”
Royal Jordanian’s fleet currently consists of 28 aircraft, both cargo and passenger. Although not all are in active service, there is one A310-300F, five A319s, nine A320s, two A321s, seven Boeing 787-8s, two E175s, and two E195s.
The airline’s fleet update was delayed but is now happening. As always, a significant portion of the aircraft arriving will be for replacement rather than growth. Majali said for every two aircraft delivered, one will be retired.
Photo: Kittikun Yoksap | Shutterstock
Royal Jordanian plans to deploy eight to 10 Embraer E2s (it recently signed a support agreement with Embraer), along with 20 A320neos. An unspecified number of 787-9s will also be introduced, offering more capacity and better economy than the -8.
The new equipment clearly reduces fuel consumption per sector, which is also the case. Majali said Amman had the highest fuel prices across the network, accounting for 42% of operating costs. Buying in bulk usually means that the airline’s domestic market is the cheapest source of supply.
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Where can we go next?
“We now have a clear fleet, strategy and network.” According to the CEO. The latter includes Brussels, as well as recent additions Düsseldorf, Lyon and Stockholm’s Arlanda (reopening on October 26th, after last serving 11 years ago). These provide important migration flows throughout the region. Majali did not provide many details about the network’s expansion, but cited Alouia and China as future targets.
Have you flown on Royal Jordanian recently? If so, please share your experience in the comments.