Royal Jordanian (RJ) marked its 56th anniversary yesterday. In 1963, the company launched its operations as the national carrier of Jordan and has since been an ambassador of goodwill and friendship to other cultures, and a bridge that facilitates tourism and trade with the world.
RJ has been receiving Hashemite support since its establishment. His Majesty King Hussein's constant backing played a key role in the progress witnessed by the airline and helped it boost its competitiveness at regional and international levels.
His Majesty King Abdullah II continues to support Royal Jordanian, given the leading role that the national flag carrier plays in connecting Jordan to the world and its strategic significance in serving the country.
On the occasion, RJ President/CEO Stefan Pichler expressed the airline’s appreciation for the care the Kingdom and the Jordanian government give RJ, and for their keenness to maintain RJ as Jordan's carrier that can contribute to the national economy, is a major employer of workforce, and that has been lending its support to the tourist and culture sectors, and to society at large, for 56 years now.
He said: “We are proud of our logo, which is a very strong and powerful symbol, and which makes us work even harder to take our company forward and achieve the planned turnaround. It makes us all believe in Royal Jordanian and work together as a team to make it happen.”
RJ has all the ingredients needed to be successful and to move to a brighter future, judging from the financial results recorded by the company in the first nine months of 2019, which registered a JD24.3 million net profit after tax.
Pichler added that RJ will keep improving its services, facilitate travel procedures and develop employees’ skills by training them according to the best customer-service standards, in addition to relying on technology in all fields, in line with international airlines.
Pichler said that the strategic objective of Royal Jordanian is to position itself as the No. 1 carrier in the Levant. This will be done by strengthening the main pillars of the ambitious turnaround plan, which are: sustainable profitability that attracts the capital market and targets increasing operating margins in the coming five years; being a consumer champion by thinking of customers first; being the employer of choice, which attracts and retains talented and skilled workforce and rewards performance.
The airline will keep revisiting its route network to enhance connectivity through RJ’s hub in Amman and will streamline the fleet, thus making future growth easier. Pichler added that RJ will keep offering super-low fares to retain loyal customers and gain new ones; passengers will also see improved services and products, as well as a seamless travel experience.
In 1963, the company had 250 employees, operated two aircraft -- a Handley Page Dart Herald and a DC7 -- and was flying to three destinations: Beirut, Kuwait and Cairo. Now its fleet counts 25 aircraft that fly to 45 cities spread over four continents. Eight destinations are still suspended for security reasons: Damascus, Aleppo, Sanaa, Aden, Tripoli, Benghazi, Misrata and Mosul.
“The next six years will witness fleet modernisation, through the introduction of 18 narrow-body aircraft, 15 of which will replace the current ones,” said Pichler.
The number of passengers increased from 87,000 in 1964 to more than 3.3 million by the end of this year; the number of yearly flights grew from 4,000 to more than 34,000 over the same period.
On the 56th anniversary of RJ, Pichler thanked the airline family members who work in Jordan and at the outstations, highlighting the fact that they distinguish themselves in various fields in the aviation industry, which makes Royal Jordanian proud of its highly skilled staff, which is on par with its global counterparts.
Pichler stressed that the employees will work hard and as a team to serve the national carrier of Jordan, and promised to exert all the efforts needed to make the turnaround plan successful and thus raise the airline’s name high and maintain its distinguished international and regional reputation, to remain an important contributor to the kingdom’s economy and local community, and an employer of choice, by virtue of it being the pillar of air transportation in Jordan that aims at becoming the number one choice for travellers in the Levant.