Royal Jordanian has taken its first Boeing 787 on strength, in a move the flag carrier hopes will give it a competitive edge in its fight against a worsening external geopolitical situation and increasing competition from rivals.
The 787, acquired through Netherlands-based lessor AerCap Holdings, is the first of 11 the Amman-based carrier hopes will revitalize its appeal to passengers.
Royal Jordanian chairman, president and CEO Nasser Lozi said the 787 “will not only revolutionize the inflight experience for our passengers, but also help Royal Jordanian increase its competitiveness both regionally and internationally. Our decision to invest in this game-changing airplane reflects our firm belief in its unrivaled capabilities and will allow us to offer passengers an unmatched level of comfort, on both short- and long-haul flights.”
Royal Jordanian becomes only the second airline in the Middle East to operate the 787, after Qatar Airways.
Royal Jordanian has faced increasing operational problems, with many of its routes requiring diversions because of the civil war raging in neighboring Syria, with an attendant rise in flight times and costs. Amman is only around 100 km from potentially hazardous Syrian airspace.
The airline has also ceased flying on several routes, citing competition from major Gulf carriers such as Etihad and Emirates, particularly on routes to Asia. Low-cost carriers are also eating into its markets.
Partly in response to this, Royal Jordanian has cut costs by trimming its fleet—two Airbus A321s have left already and by the end of the year, an A330 and an Embraer E-Jet will have come to the end of their leases and also have departed.
Nevertheless, Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Ray Conner said the Middle East is one of the world’s highest growth areas for commercial aviation.”
Royal Jordanian will configure its 787s with 24 in business class and 246 in economy class.
To support Royal Jordanian’s Dreamliners, Boeing is providing a suite of support and services through its Commercial Aviation Services business.