Key investments help keep Royal Jordanian ahead

Dabbas…new routes

AS ROYAL Jordanian invests in new technology and aircraft to continue its growth CEO HUSSEIN  DABBAS speaks to MAYSA ZUREIKAT about performance, achievements and what’s in store for the future.

What were Royal Jordanian’s load factors for 2010?

In the period between January and September 2010, Royal Jordanian (RJ) carried 2.3 million passengers, marking a 15 per cent growth over the same period last year. This resulted in an increase in the seat factor in the first nine months of this year that reached to 71 per cent.

What new routes will RJ open in 2011? And what were the new routes in 2010?

In March 2010, RJ opened a new direct route to Madinah, Saudi Arabia, and in June the airline resumed its regular flights to the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, after a seven-year suspension in operations between the two countries.

In 2011, RJ is looking to open new routes to Berlin, Germany, and Lagos, Nigeria. 

What new initiatives did you launch in 2010?

In April 2010 Royal Jordanian launched a new service, online check-in, enabling passengers to issue their boarding passes electronically from their homes, offices or any place connected to the internet, through its website. This service is part of the company’s endeavors to automate and streamline travel procedures.

In May 2010, two new Airbus A330s joined the RJ fleet to serve the long- and medium-range routes to the Far East and London.

RJ also increased the frequency of its operations to several destinations in response to growing demand last summer.

In October, Royal Jordanian started implementing the Amadeus Altea customer management and e-commerce suite of solutions that manages all reservations, inventory and ticketing in Jordan and all over the world.

And on October 31 RJ launched a novel branding campaign, The Art of Flying. These services and the modern technology the airline uses  were crucial to enabling RJ to join the Oneworld airline alliance.

In November Royal Jordanian completed a comprehensive cabin modernisation to two of its four Airbus A340s serving North American destinations. It is the first airline in the world to equip its aircraft with seat integrated technology, the new, state-of-the-art audio video on demand in-flight entertainment system developed by Zodiac Aerospace. All four Airbus A340s were expected to be renovated by mid December. 

A newly manufactured Embraer 175 aircraft, the eighth RJ has added to its Embraer fleet,  joined the airline on November  12.

And, what’s in store for 2011?

In 2011, RJ is looking to open new routes to some destinations, like Berlin and Lagos. It is also working to improve its ground and in-flight services and to have more passengers to fly on RJ aircraft. Boosting revenues is one of the airline targets for 2011.

RJ is to move to a new headquarters in a private and prestigious building which is currently under construction. Moreover, Royal Jordanian intends to introduce seven new Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft to replace six currently operating plus an additional A320. The first delivery is scheduled for April and the others will follow in 2012.