Royal Jordanian

Royal Jordanian

Infobox Airline
airline = Royal Jordanian
الملكية الأردنية

logo_size = 195
fleet_size = 28 (+8 orders,+4 leases, 14 options)
destinations = 58
callsign = JORDANIAN| parent =
founded = 1963 as Alia Airlines
headquarters = Amman, Jordan
key_people = Samer A. Majali (CEO)
hubs = Queen Alia International Airport
focus_cities = Aqaba Airport
frequent_flyer = Royal Plus
lounge = Crown Lounge
alliance = Oneworld
tourist program = Zuwar Travel
subsidiaries = Royal Jordanian Xpress
Royal Wings
company_slogan = "Change is in the air"
website =

Royal Jordanian Airlines (Arabic: الملكية الأردنية; transliterated: al-Malakiyah al-Orduniyah) is an airline based in Amman, Jordan, operating scheduled international services over four continents. Its main base is Queen Alia International Airport (AMM), Amman. Royal Jordanian is a member of the Arab Air Carriers Organization and the Oneworld global airline alliance. The airline won the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation award for Airline Turnaround of the Year 2006 on 9 November 2006. [ [ Royal Jordanian website] ] The airline operates over 350 flights per week. Royal Jordanian was voted 'Airline of the Year 2007' by Air Finance Journal, marking a huge success for the airline. [] [ [ Airline Fact Sheet: Royal Jordanian - Route Map - Hubs - Flight Information ] ]


The airline was established on 9 December 1963 and started operations on 15 December 1963 after a royal decree by the late King Hussein. It was named Alia, or Aalya, after the King's Hussein's daughter; not to be confused with the name of the airport which is named after King Hussein's third wife: Alia, or Alyaa'. The airline was founded with capital from private shareholders who were later bought out by the Jordanian government.

Alia Jordanian Airlines started with two Handley Page Dart Heralds and a Douglas DC-7, and three international routes, to Kuwait, Beirut and Cairo. In 1964 another DC-7 arrived and services to Jeddah inaugurated. In 1965, Alia started services to Europe, with Rome added to the route system. All the progress the airline made was threatened by the Israeli air raid during the 1967 war when the DC-7s were destroyed. These planes were replaced by two Fokker F27 planes. 1968 saw expansion to Nicosia, Benghazi, Dhahran and Doha. 1969 saw further expansion into Europe and other parts of Asia, including Munich, Tehran and Istanbul.

In 1970 Alia joined the jet age when they phased out the F-27s and ordered Boeing 707 aircraft. Frankfurt and Abu Dhabi were added to the network in 1970 and in 1971 the 707s arrived. In 1971 Madrid, Copenhagen and Karachi were added to the network. The rest of the decade saw Boeing 720s Boeing 727s and Boeing 747s added.

A catering department was established, as well as duty free shops in Amman's airport. Services were added to several other cities, including:Bahrain, Dubai, Muscat, Rabat, Geneva, Amsterdam, Baghdad, Bangkok, Vienna, Larnaca, Damascus, New York City, Ras al-Khaimah and Houston. In 1979, Alia became a founding member of the Arab Airlines Technical Consortium (AATC).

In the 1980s Tunis and Tripoli joined the route map, and Alia's IBM computer center was inaugurated. Lockheed L-1011s and Airbus A310s and A320s joined the fleet and in 1986, Alia changed its name to Royal Jordanian. The airline's first woman pilot flew one of their aircraft during this decade, and services were added to other cities, including Belgrade, Chicago, Bucharest, Los Angeles, Singapore, Riyadh, Kuala Lumpur (in cooperation with Malaysian Airlines), Sana'a, Moscow, Miami, Montreal, New Delhi, Calcutta and Ankara. This decade also saw the opening of the Gabriel Automated Ticket System, (GATS).

The 1990s saw the expansion continue. Royal Jordanian and nine other Arabian airlines signed up with the Galileo reservations system, the IMCS maintenance and engineering system was added, a new city terminal was opened at the 7th Circle in Amman, and services to Gaza were inaugurated. The cities of Toronto, Colombo, Jakarta, Berlin, Mumbai, Milan and Tel Aviv (with 3 daily flights) were added to the network. Royal Jordanian became code sharing partners with TWA.

In 2000, the FAA renewed the airline's maintenance and engineering department's license, and the duty free shop was among the services to be privatised. A holding company, RJI, wholly owned by the government, was incorporated as a public limited company in February 2001 to hold all the airline and associated investments. The name has been officially changed to Alia, The Royal Jordanian Airline, although to its clients it is still known simply as Royal Jordanian.

Subsidiary Royal Wings started Royal Jordanian's first domestic service to Aqaba using a Fokker F-27 on 10 February 1996. Royal Wings now operates a Airbus A320-212 aircraft on both scheduled and charter services to destinations in Egypt, Cyprus, Israel and the West Bank.

On December 20 2006, Royal Jordanian announced that they would replace two Airbus A321s with two new ones, and order two new Airbus A319s which will enter service in early 2008.

In April 2007 Royal Jordanian became part of the Oneworld alliance. It became the first Arab airline to join a global alliance. The following month, the airline announced it had ordered a total of 10 Boeing 787-8s, for service entry in 2010. This is the first order Royal Jordanian has ever placed with Boeing. [] .

Montreal, Canada rejoined the network on May 25 2007, after the route was cancelled in 1997. Also during May, Royal Jordanian was the sponsor of the World Economic Forum, which was held at the Dead Sea, Jordan.

On July 11 2007 Royal Jordanian celebrated thirty years of non-stop service between Amman and New York, making it the longest serving Arab airline to the USA. Royal Jordanian won the Airline Strategy Award in the technology category at the sixth annual Airline Strategy Awards on, July 16 2007. On the July 23, Royal Jordanian saw the first cargo flights between Amman and Damascus, with Royal Jordanian using a Boeing 737.

Royal Jordanian made its first flight to the capital of Hungary, Budapest on July 28, using an Embraer 195. Flights between Amman and Budapest occur twice weekly. In October, RJ announced that it has converted two Embraer 195 jets from its original order into two Embraer 175. Royal Jordanian also opened a new lounge at Aqaba Airport.

The airline will be the first airline in the Middle East to provide its passengers with OnAir’s inflight internet and mobile phone services, including email, SMS and voice calls. [] Royal Jordanian also upgraded its three Airbus A310s at a cost of over 10 million Jordanian dinars.

Royal Jordanian was privatised at the end of 2007, with 71% of the airline sold. The market capitalisation of the company is 260 million JOD, and shares commenced trading on 17 December 2007.

On December 24 2007, Royal Jordanian confirmed Baku, Azerbaijan as one of its new routes in 2008, with the airline using an Embraer 195 twice weekly from Amman,

On January 22 2008, Royal Jordanian made its first flight to Hong Kong from Amman via Bangkok with three flights weekly during winter, and five flights weekly during summer, making it the airline's first route to China. []

The Airbus A319 entered service on 13 March 2008. [] On August 17 2008, Royal Jordanian opened a new route in Kiev. The airline now flies and Embraer 195 twice weekly between Amman and the Ukrainian capital. On August 24 2008, Royal Jordanian opened its new lounge in Queen Alia International Airport replacing the Petra and Jerash lounges. The new lounge is located on the second floor of the South Terminal and is the second largest airport lounge in the Middle East and can handle over 340 passengers, with many state of the art facilities. []

On August 27 2008, the airline recorded an 18% increase in passenger numbers in July 2008. With the airline transporting 278,000 passengers, and reporting a the seat factor grew by 5% in that month to reach 81%. []


The following information can be found in the 2006 Royal Jordanian Annual Report []


Current fleet

The Royal Jordanian fleet consists of the following aircraft as of September 2008: [ [ Fleet Information] ]

The Royal Jordanian average fleet age, as of August 2008, is 5.2 years.


Royal Jordanian Cargo (Royal Jordanian Airlines Cargo) is the company's freight division operating to Africa, Europe, North America and Middle East. The airline also offers world-wide cargo charter services. Royal Jordanian Cargo flies to over 50 destinations including Baghdad, Tel Aviv, London, New York, Cairo, Saudi Arabia, Chicago, Dehli, and Bangkok.

Retired fleet

Fokker F-27,
Boeing 707,
Boeing 727,
Boeing 747,
Douglas DC-7,
Lockheed L-1011 and
Airbus A300-600

old Fleet

Airbus A340-200 (To be sold in 2010)

Royal Plus

Royal Plus is Royal Jordanians frequent flyer program. Passengers are awarded points based on the type, class of flight and destination. Royal Plus members can also get points by traveling on other Oneworld airlines.



Food and drinks served on flights leaving Amman are provided by Alpha Group. Hot meals will be served on a flight of at least one hour length. If the flight is shorter than one hour the cabin crew will provide snacks and drinks throughout the flight. These flights include those to Tel Aviv, Beirut and Aqaba from Amman.

In-flight entertainment

Royal Jordanians onboard entertainment system is called "Sky Cinema".

* In Economy Class on A320, A321, and E195 aircraft all passengers are supplied with personal televisions (PTV) in the seat in front of them. This is an audio and video on demand system (AVOD). A310 and A340 aircraft do not feature PTVs and AVOD in Economy Class, instead they feature bulkhead mounted screens, as well as LCD screens located every five rows along the cabin.

* In Crown Class, passengers are provided with AVOD and 35 video channels and 25 audio channels. On A310 and A340 aircraft, touch screen personal televisions are issued to each passenger, and are not built into the seat like other carriers.

There are also interactive games which are available in all classes on all flights, as well as news provided by CNN on all flights.

On very short flights, from Amman to Tel Aviv, Amman to Beirut and Amman to Damascus, the AVOD system is turned on but there is only the selection of games, CNN News and the comedy channel.

Newspapers and magazines

Newspapers and magazines are available to all Crown Class passengers. Free newspapers are also provided to all Economy class passengers. The in-flight magazine, Royal Wings Magazine, is provided to all passengers.


Crown Class seats on the A340 are old-style fully flat beds. On the A310, the Recaro manufactured seats are 6" long flat bed seats, with a 175 degree slope.

Seat pitch is 83 inches on the A340, 51 inches on the A310 and 46 inches on the short and medium haul aircraft. Economy Class offers 32 inch seat pitch.

Crown Class lounges

Crown Class passengers can use lounges across the world including all Oneworld member airline lounges. As of August 2008 Royal Jordanian operates two lounges- one in Amman, Queen Alia International Airport and one at Aqaba, King Hussein International Airport. In August 2008 Royal Jordanian opened its new lounge, which can handle over 340 passengers. It is located in the South Terminal on the second floor and replaces the previous Jerash and Petra lounges in the airport. The new lounge is the second largest in the Middle East and provides facilities which include:
* A business center, with internet-connected computers.
* Jordanian and international newspapers and magazines.
* Isolated room for relaxing.
* Hotel-like bedrooms.
* Showers.
* Play room for kids equipped with an LCD screen for cartoons.
* Games room for adults.
* Praying rooms.
* LCD screens are installed in the the main hall of the lounge.
* Some areas are dedicated to individuals who wish to watch movies.
* A smoking area with air-conditioning and ventilation.
* Food and drinks.
* Library.
* Views of the tarmac and runways.

Since this is the only lounge at Queen Alia International Airport, it is also used by any passenger traveling on business of first class in or out of Amman. []

Zuwar stopover

Transiting passengers in Jordan can use the Zuwar Stopover package and spend a few days in Jordan.

Royal Vacations program

Royal Jordanians "Royal Vacations Program" sells vacations. Points from staying at Royal Jordanian partner hotels will give points towards the Royal Plus program.

Royal Jordanian charity activities

* Aid to Lebanon , Gaza, Iraq and Pakistan - RJ staff contributed two shipments of goods to the needy in Lebanon and in Gaza, following a campaign among staff to contribute one or two days pay to help those who suffered from the military operations during the summer of 2006. The shipments included heaters, gas ovens, wheelchairs, foodstuff, blankets, school bags and baby milk. The goods were shipped to Lebanon on RJ, and to Gaza through Jordanian charity organizations. In cooperation with the United Nations, RJ ran four air cargo trips from Amman to Islamabad carrying foodstuff, medical supplies and human aid, a donation from Jordan to the victims of natural disasters that hit Pakistan in 2005. RJ also carried 27 tons of aid donated by Japanese charities to the Iraqi people, in addition to running four other trips carrying aid from Japan to Iraq.
* Donating free tickets for the Society of Families and Friends of the Disabled - this donation enables disabled people to participate in the first Arab Recreation, Sport, and Cultural Camp in Egypt.
* Injaz Program - For three years, RJ has been supporting and sponsoring the Injaz program for providing economic opportunities for Jordanian Youth.
* Contributing to Al Aman Fund for the Future of Orphans
* Supporting Ladies of Iraq Al-Ameer Cooperative Society
* Al-Shajara Cultural Forum
* AZM project

Royal Jordanian awards

* 2007 Airline Strategy Award
* King Abdullah II Award for Excellence
* Best Arab airline website
* Air Transport World magazine names RJ Phoenix Award winner
* CAPA Airline Turnaround of the Year 2006
* International Star Award for Quality
* Best Airline Livery Award 2007
* Airline of the Year "2007" by Air Finance Journal

Codeshare agreements

In addition to its Oneworld partnerships, Royal Jordanian has codeshare agreements with the following airlines:

*Air India (ending in December 2009)
*Air Canada (ending 26 October 2008)
*American Airlines
*British Airways
*Cyprus Airways
*Gulf Air
*Malév Hungarian Airlines
*Syrian Arab Airlines
*Thai Airways International
*UM Airlines
*US Airways


Royal Jordanians's livery is a dark grey fuselage with the titles in gold both in English and Arabic. Red tips are located on the fins, winglets and engines of the aircraft as well as two strips, one gold and one red, down the fuselage. The fin contains a crown. This livery has been in service since 2006, before then the livery was similar however the engines were not painted nor were the winglets of the aircraft.

Charter services

Private charter flights using aircraft from the Royal Jordanian fleet is uncommon but can occur if the aircraft from the Royal Jordanian subsidiaries Royal Wings cannot meet the requirements of the customer.

Aircraft names

The airline has named its new aircraft after Jordanian cities.

Incidents and accidents

There have been four major incidents or accidents involving Alia Jordanian flights:

*On 10 April, 1965, an Alia Jordanian Handley Page Dart Herald en route from Beirut to Amman crashed near Damascus in Syria. All four crew members and 50 passengers were killed. The aircraft was written-off. [ [ Aviation Safety Network description of 1965 accident] ] .
*On 22 January, 1973, an Alia Jordanian Boeing 707 crashed on landing at Kano airport in Nigeria. Six crew members and 170 passengers were killed. The aircraft was written-off. [ [ Accident in 1973 at Kano] ] .
* On 3 August, 1975, an Alia Jordanian Boeing 707 heading for Agadir airport in Morocco crashed into high ground. All seven crew members and 181 passengers were killed. [ [ database entry for 1975 accident] ] .
* On 13 March, 1979, an Alia Jordanian Boeing 727 crashed on landing at Doha airport in Qatar. Three crew members and 42 passengers were killed. The aircraft was written-off. [ [ database entry for 1979 accident] ] .
* On 11 June, 1985, Alia Jordanian flight 402, a Boeing 727 headed to Beirut, was stormed shortly before takeoff by a group of five terrorists led by Fawaz Younis. After flying to Larnaca, Cyprus, and Palermo, Italy, the airplane returned to Beirut; it took off again on 12 June but was only airborne a couple of hours before returning to the Beirut airport, where the hijackers released all the passengers and crew, blew up the plane, and escaped. In 1988 Younis was arrested and became the first person charged under a new federal statute giving the United States jurisdiction over terrorist acts committed overseas but involving American citizens.

Since the name change to Royal Jordanian Airlines, the only fatal incident was when a hijacker seeking political asylum was killed on 5 July, 2000, on board a Royal Jordanian Airbus A320 flying from Queen Alia International Airport to Damascus [ [ CBS article about 2000 attempted hijacking] ] .


External links

* [ Official website]

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