Royal Jordanian

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Royal Jordanian
الملكية الأردنية
Royal Jordanian Logo.svg
FoundedDecember 9, 1963 (1963-12-09) as Alia Airlines – Royal Jordanian Airlines
HubsQueen Alia Airport
Focus citiesKing Hussein Airport
Frequent-flyer programRoyal Plus
Airport loungeCrown Lounge
AllianceOneworld (2007)
  • Royal Wings
  • Royal Jordanian Cargo with american airlines
  • Royal Jordanian Ground Handling
Fleet size35
Company slogan"A World of Stories"
HeadquartersAmman, Jordan
Key people
  • Sulieman AlHafez, Chairman
  • Haitham Misto, President/CEO (acting)
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Royal Jordanian
الملكية الأردنية
Royal Jordanian Logo.svg
FoundedDecember 9, 1963 (1963-12-09) as Alia Airlines – Royal Jordanian Airlines
HubsQueen Alia Airport
Focus citiesKing Hussein Airport
Frequent-flyer programRoyal Plus
Airport loungeCrown Lounge
AllianceOneworld (2007)
  • Royal Wings
  • Royal Jordanian Cargo with american airlines
  • Royal Jordanian Ground Handling
Fleet size35
Company slogan"A World of Stories"
HeadquartersAmman, Jordan
Key people
  • Sulieman AlHafez, Chairman
  • Haitham Misto, President/CEO (acting)

Royal Jordanian Airlines (Arabic: الملكية الأردنية‎; transliterated: Al-Malakiyyah al-'Urduniyyah) is the flag carrier airline of Jordan with its head office in Amman, Jordan,[1] operating scheduled international services over four continents from its main base at Queen Alia International Airport at Amman (AMM) Jordan. Royal Jordanian (RJ) is a member of the Arab Air Carriers Organization and of the Oneworld global airline alliance. The airline operates over 500 flights per week, with at least 110 daily departures.


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 King Hussein's eldest child, Princess Alia bint Al Hussein of Jordan (born on 13 February 1956). It is a common misconception that the airline was named after the King's third wife, Queen Alia whom King Hussein did not marry until 1972. The airline was founded with capital from private shareholders but the Jordanian government later took over the company.[citation needed]

Alia (the Royal Jordanian Airline) started operations with two Handley Page Dart Heralds and a Douglas DC-7 aircraft, serving Kuwait City, Beirut and Cairo from Amman. In 1964, another DC-7 was added and service began to Jeddah. In 1965, Alia initiated service to Rome, its first destination in Europe. The progress made by the airline was threatened by an Israeli air raid during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War when the DC-7 aircraft were destroyed. They were replaced by two Fokker F-27 airliners.

In 1968, the airline expanded its route pattern to Nicosia, Benghazi, Dhahran and Doha. 1969 saw the addition of service to Munich, Istanbul and Tehran.

Lockheed L-1011 TriStar of Alia in the short-lived, experimental early-1980s livery

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. The 707s were delivered in 1971. In that year, service was initiated to Madrid, Copenhagen and Karachi. During the rest of the decade, Boeing 720/727s and Boeing 747s were added to the fleet. A catering department was established, and duty-free shops were opened at Amman airport. Services were added to destinations including: Bahrain, Dubai, Muscat, Rabat, Geneva, Amsterdam, Baghdad, Bangkok, Vienna, Larnaca replacing Nicosia, Damascus, New York City, Houston, and Ras al-Khaimah. 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, Airbus A310s and Airbus A320s joined the fleet. In 1986, Alia changed its name to Royal Jordanian. The airline's first woman pilot flew one of their aircraft during this decade. Service was added to Belgrade, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Bucharest, Singapore, Riyadh, Kuala Lumpur – in cooperation with MAS, Sana'a, Moscow, Montreal, Delhi, Calcutta and Ankara. This decade also saw the introduction of the Gabriel Automated Ticket System – (GATS).

A Boeing 747-200 of the airline as seen in 1978.

The 1990s saw further expansion. Royal Jordanian and nine other Arab air carriers signed up for the Galileo CRS. The IMCS maintenance and engineering system was added, a new Amman city air terminal was opened at the 7th Circle of the Jordanian capital, and services to Rafah started, since then halted. The cities of Toronto, Colombo, Jakarta, Berlin, Mumbai, Milan and Tel Aviv were added to the network. In November, 1997 Royal Jordanian became a code-sharing partner with the US carrier Trans World Airlines and moved operations into the TWA Flight Center (Terminal 5) at the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. [3]

In 2000, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) renewed the airline's maintenance and engineering department's license. 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's and associated investments. The airline's name was changed on 5 February 2001 to Alia – The Royal Jordanian Airlines Company, although travellers still use the popular name of Royal Jordanian.

On 10 February 2006, the flag carrier's subsidiary Royal Wings started its first domestic service to Aqaba, the seaport on the Gulf of Aqaba, using a Fokker F-27. Royal Wings now operates an Airbus A320-212 aircraft on both scheduled and charter services to destinations in Egypt, Cyprus and Israel.

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

In April 2007, Royal Jordanian became part of Oneworld, thus becoming the first Arab airline to join such a global alliance system. The following month, the airline announced an order for a total of 10 Boeing 787 Dreamliners, for service entry in 2010. This is the first order Royal Jordanian has placed with Boeing.[2]

Montreal, Canada, rejoined the network on 25 May 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 11 July 2007, Royal Jordanian celebrated thirty years of non-stop service between Amman and New York City, making it the longest serving Arab airline to this gateway to the U.S.. RJ won the "Airline Strategy Award" in the technology category at the sixth annual Airline Strategy Awards on 16 July 2007. On 23 July, RJ saw the introduction of cargo flights, Damascus being the first destination served from Amman, using a Boeing 737.

Royal Jordanian made its first flight to Budapest, on 28 July, using an Embraer 195. In October, RJ announced the switch of two Embraer 195 jets of its original order to two Embraer 175 jets. Royal Jordanian opened a new lounge at King Hussein International Airport in Aqaba.

RJ will be the first Middle East airline to provide its passengers with OnAir’s in-flight Internet and mobile phone services, including e-mail, SMS and voice calls.[3] Royal Jordanian has upgraded its three Airbus A310s at a cost of over 10 million Jordanian dinars (JOD).

Royal Jordanian was privatized at the end of 2007, resulting in 71% of its assets being sold. The market capitalization of the company stands at 260 million JOD, and share-trading commenced on 17 December 2007.

On 24 December 2007, Royal Jordanian confirmed Baku as one of its new destinations for 2008, using an Embraer 195 twice weekly from Amman. In early 2008, however, RJ officials decided against the new route, citing that high fuel prices and a new market were a risk too large to take at that time. Royal Jordanian plans to operate the Amman-Baku route in late 2009 or early 2010. On 22 January 2008, RJ launched flights to Hong Kong via Bangkok, with three flights/week during winter, and five flights/week during summer, making it the airline's first route to China.[4]

The Airbus A319 entered service on 13 March 2008, making RJ the first Middle East airline to operate three aircraft of the Airbus A320 family.[5] On 17 August 2008, Royal Jordanian opened a new route to Kiev, using Embraer 195 jets for this twice weekly service. On 24 August 2008, Royal Jordanian opened its new lounge at Queen Alia International Airport Amman, 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, being able to handle over 340 passengers.[6]

The airline recorded an 18% increase in passenger numbers in July 2008. With the airline transporting 278,000 passengers, the seat factor grew by 5% in that month to reach 81%.[7] As part of Royal Jordanian's commitment to its airline alliance Oneworld, an announcement was made at the alliance's 10th birthday celebrations on 3 February 2009 that RJ would paint its new A319 (due for delivery in late March) in a scheme that would be based around the Oneworld name and logo. This is the first special colour scheme Royal Jordanian will have used.[8]

Royal Jordanian resumed service to Brussels on 1 April 2009, six years after the route was discontinued by the airline, flying twice weekly from Amman with the airline planning to add a further two flights per week later in 2009.

On 28 March 2010, Royal Jordanian inaugurated regular direct flights to Madinah Munawwarah, Saudi Arabia, with four weekly flights. On the 23 March, Royal Jordanian confirmed that it had ordered two A330-200s and one Embraer 175. Royal Jordanian recommenced operations to Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur on June 2, 2010 after it had suspended this route in 2004. Aircraft used on this route is the new Airbus A330-200.

In May 2011, Royal Jordanian announced that they will retire the Airbus A310 aircraft in December 2011, and January 2012. Royal Jordanian uses an Airbus A330 and an Airbus A321 for non-stop flights London.(Terminal 3) [9]

In June 2014, Royal Jordanian announced that suspended services to Mosul in northern Iraq due to the capture of the airport by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

The first of Royal Jordanian's Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft (267-seat, two-class configuration) entered service in July 2014, initially linking Amman with Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.[10] The 787 is Royal Jordanian's first Boeing aircraft, and replaced the Airbus A340-200s.

On 23 July 2014 the company announced that it was suspending its flights to/from Tel Aviv, due to the danger posed to flights by Hamas-launched rockets fired towards Ben Gurion Airport from the Gaza Strip during the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict. This was the first time the company suspended its flights in this direction. Many other international carriers, including Air France, Lufthansa, Air Canada, United Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and Turkish Airlines also temporarily suspended their flights during this conflict.[11]


Royal Jordanian Slogans[12]
SloganYear commencedYear finished
"From Jordan to the world"19631968
"Excellence in air"19681974
"Journey in Royalty" and "The way you want to fly"19742005
"Change is in the air"20062008
"You're There."20082010
"The Art of Flying"20102014
"A World of Stories'2014Present


The following information can be found in the 2009 Royal Jordanian Annual Report.[13]

Financial and operational statistics
YearAircraft kilometersDeparturesFlying hoursPassengersSeat factorEmployeesProfit/loss
200237,767,70917,09655,9701,339,77966%3,008Loss 3,044,000 JOD
200336,933,46216,20254,9721,404,58868%3,162Loss 9,753,000 JOD
200444,557,37719,14866,0041,736,63771%3,313Profit 15,327,000 JOD
200545,557,37720,77768,8831,821,32969%3,557Profit 20,516,000 JOD
200652,274,91725,66177,3742,004,55966%3,799Profit 6,135,000 JOD
200756,055,80330,24488,3782,288,00071%4,275Profit 24,111,000 JOD
200864,379,05834,285101,3812,701,00072%4,507Loss 23,400,000 JOD
200966,017,39135,715105,5792,668,59068%4,399Profit 28,614,000 JOD
2010TBA39,000112,9693,000,000[14]71%TBAProfit 9,600,000 JOD
Scheduled services
YearPassengersCargoExcess baggageAirmail

Codeshare agreements[edit]

Royal Jordanian has codeshare agreements with the following airlines :


Current fleet[edit]

A Royal Jordanian Airbus A330-200 on short final to London Heathrow Airport in 2014.
A Rojal Jordanian Airbus A319-100 at Istanbul Atatürk Airport in 2013.
Royal Jordanian Boeing 787-8.

The Royal Jordanian fleet consists of the following aircraft[17][18][19]

Royal Jordanian Fleet
Airbus A319-132411496110Fitted with on-air mobile services
JY-AYP painted in Oneworld livery
Airbus A320-2326316120136Fitted with on-air mobile services
Airbus A321-2312[20]20147167Fitted with on-air mobile services
Airbus A330-223324259283To be phased out in 2014-2018.
Boeing 787–85[21]623244267Entry into service: September 2014
Order includes 4 leases
Embraer 17531126072
Embraer 195511288100First Middle-Eastern airline to operate type

(As of August 2014), the average age of the Royal Jordanian fleet is 8.5 years.[22]

Future fleet plans[edit]

Royal Jordanian intends to have a fleet of 38 aircraft by the year 2017, with 11 Boeing 787s, 4 Airbus A319s, 8 Airbus A320s, 6 Airbus A321s and 9 Embraer E-Jets.[18]


Airbus A310-300F near Brussels, Belgium

Royal Jordanian Cargo (Royal Jordanian Airlines Cargo) is the company's freight division operating to Africa, Europe, North America and Middle East.

Royal Jordanian Cargo Fleet
AircraftIn FleetCapacityNotes
Airbus A310-300F[23]235.5 tonnes

Retired fleet[edit]

Royal Jordanian has also operated the following aircraft:[24]

Royal Jordanian Retired Fleet
Airbus A30012001
Airbus A310122012
Airbus A32082012
Airbus A32162014
Airbus A34042014
Boeing 747-2D3B21990
De Havilland Dash 822008
Lockheed L-101122000
Fokker F-2731970
Fokker F-2822009
Boeing 72741990
Boeing 70741996

Aircraft names[edit]

The airline has named its new aircraft after Jordanian cities. The wide-body aircraft such as the Airbus A340 in the past and now the Boeing 787 Dreamliners are named after members of the Hashemite Royal Family.[citation needed]


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 use since 2006; before then the livery was similar, however the engines were not painted, and the fin did not have a curved stripe atop.

Special color schemes[edit]

Until 2009 Royal Jordanian had never had an aircraft painted in a special colour scheme. It announced at the 10th birthday celebrations in February 2009 of the airline alliance Oneworld that it would paint its new A319 due for delivery in late March in a special scheme, which would be based around the Oneworld name and logo.

The aircraft, registration JY-AYP, has its fuselage painted white, with the tailfin and engines in normal Royal Jordanian colours. "A member of Oneworld" in prominent lettering is located at the front of the aircraft, with the usual title "Royal Jordanian" further back.[25]

Royal Plus[edit]

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

The four tiers in the Royal Plus Program are:

Card holders of Royal Jordanian's Royal Plus with either Silver, Gold or Platinum can use Oneworld airport services across the world while Gold and Platinum also have lounge access.



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, Cairo, Baghdad, Beirut and Aqaba from Amman.

Royal Jordanian, remains one of only five international airlines in the world to offer its Economy Class passengers three meal options to choose from—beef, fish or poultry—on any flight of over two hours duration.The other 4 airlines that offer Economy class passengers 3 choices are Singapore Airlines , Etihad Airways, Emirates and Virgin Atlantic.

In-flight entertainment[edit]

Royal Jordanian's onboard entertainment system is called "Sky Cinema".

AVOD on board Royal Jordanian's Airbus A330

Interactive games 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, the "Flight Show", and the comedy channel. This is due to the flights being less than 45 minutes hence movies/shows would not be complete upon arrival.


Crown Class seats on the A340 are fully flat beds. Seat pitch is 83 inches on the A340 and 46 inches on the short and medium haul aircraft.

In Economy Class Royal Jordanian offers 32-inch seat pitch on board its Embraer aircraft, whilst it offers 34-inch seat pitch on board its Airbus aircraft. All Royal Jordanian Economy class seats also offer a foot-rest.

On the new Airbus 330-200, Royal Jordanian offers lie-flat seats in Crown Class with a 62-inch seat pitch, as well as a 34-inch seat pitch in the economy class cabin

Crown Class lounges[edit]

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, at Queen Alia International Airport, and one at Aqaba, at 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.[citation needed]



Royal Jordanian has invested heavily in its crew training facility at its headquarters in Amman. As of 2008, Royal Jordanian employed 4,507 people.[29]


Royal Jordanian is the second-largest carrier in the Levant[citation needed] and the only major Arab carrier serving Israel. It began to put into place a new strategy at the end of 2002 which saw the airline concentrate on its neighboring nations, with increased frequencies. In a plan to establish itself as the Middle East's "regional airline" it began to add smaller routes such as Alexandria in Egypt to Aleppo in Syria which the bigger airlines, such as Emirates, would not undertake with the larger aircraft compared to Royal Jordanian's regional jets. As of the end of 2008, the plan had proven successful for the airline, with its main rivals being Middle East Airlines and Egypt Air.[29]

Since 2008 Royal Jordanian has faced increased competition within the Middle East. The arrival of many new low cost airlines such as Air Arabia, Jazeera Airways and flydubai have caused problems for the Jordanian airline. With the arrival of these new airlines Royal Jordanian has focused upon improving its onboard and ground services in order to retain market share.

Charter services[edit]

The operation of private charter flights using aircraft from the Royal Jordanian fleet is uncommon, but may be arranged if aircraft of Royal Wings, the subsidiary company of Royal Jordanian, cannot meet customer requirements.

Royal Jordanian's new headquarters under construction in Amman

Head office[edit]

As of 2009 Haddadinco Engineering Company for Contracting is building the new Royal Jordanian head office in Amman.[30] The building was designed by Niels Torp.[31] The new building was completed in late 2011, and RJ employees began work in the building on January 3, 2012.

In the 1960s Alia's head office was in the Mango Building in Amman.[32]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

Royal Jordanian has experienced 13 aviation occurrences throughout its history, four of them fatal. The airline's two worst accidents, both involving chartered Boeing 707s, happened in Nigeria in 1973 and Morocco in 1975, and to date are both the deadliest accidents in those countries and the deadliest worldwide involving the 707.

Since the name of the carrier was changed to Royal Jordanian Airlines, the only fatal incident was when a hijacker, seeking political asylum, was killed by the on-board security agent on 5 July 2000, on board a Royal Jordanian Airbus A320 flying from Amman to Damascus.[36]


  1. ^ "RJ Phone numbers in Jordan." Royal Jordanian. Retrieved on 21 June 2010. "Office Address: Building 37 -Mohammad Ali Janah St. -Abdoun near the 5th circle P .O .Box: 302 Amman 11118"
  2. ^ Golden, Lara Lynn (20 May 2007). Press release "Royal Jordanian negotiating for 12 787s through direct purchase and lease contracts". AME Info FZ LLC / Emap Limited.
  3. ^ Home | OnAir. Retrieved on 2010-11-13.
  4. ^ Manibo, Medilyn (22 January 2008). Press release "RJ starts operating flights between Amman and Hong Kong today". AME Info FZ LLC / Emap Limited.
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ [2][dead link]
  7. ^ Ammari, Siba Sami (27 August 2008). Press release "RJ reports 18% increase in passenger numbers last month". AME Info FZ LLC / Emap Limited.
  8. ^ News. oneworld (2009-02-03). Retrieved on 2010-11-13.
  9. ^
  10. ^ Airliner World (March 2014): 15. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ Golden, Lara Lynn (18 December 2008). Press release "Royal Jordanian's 'You're there' marketing campaign launched". AME Info FZ LLC / Emap Limited.
  13. ^ "Financial Statements". Royal Jordanian.
  14. ^ Royal Jordanian: RJ News, February 23, 2011
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ Royal Jordanian fleet
  18. ^ a b Royal Jordanian Airlines: The Will of Royal Jordanian | ATWOnline
  19. ^
  20. ^ Royal Jordanian to lease seven aircraft; HSBC Holdings upgrades Air Arabia rating | Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation – CAPA. (2010-06-17). Retrieved on 2010-11-13.
  21. ^ "FARNBOROUGH: Royal Jordanian orders three more 787s". 25 July 2010. Retrieved 25 July 2010. 
  22. ^ Royal Jordanian Fleet Age
  23. ^ EDFH-Spotting – Hahn Airport Spotting Community. Retrieved on 2010-11-13.
  24. ^ "Timeline". Royal Jordanian. Click on "View our Timeline" for Flash-based information.
  25. ^ "oneworld airlines renew their commitment to build on the value the alliance offers customers worldwide – including a standard oneworld livery". 3 February 2009.
  26. ^ a b c d Press release "RJ celebrates its 45th anniversary tomorrow". AME Info FZ LLC / Emap Limited. 14 December 2008.
  27. ^ Press release "RJ awarded "Airline of the Year 2007" by Air Finance Journal". AME Info FZ LLC / Emap Limited. 23 June 2008.
  28. ^ Angioni, Giovanni (29 March 2010). "Estonian Air wins punctuality award in Schiphol". Estonian Free Press.
  29. ^ a b Sobie, Brendan (22 January 2008). "Going the distance: Samer Majali steers Royal Jordanian into privatisation".
  30. ^ "RJ News". Royal Jordanian. 24 November 2009. Retrieved on 13 December 2009.
  31. ^ "Niels Torp: airline headquarters, Amman, Jordan.(Work)(Royal Jordanian Airlines has new corporate headquarters)". Architectural Review. 1 January 2007. Retrieved on 13 February 2010.
  32. ^ 498 "World Airline Directory". Flight International. 2 April 1964.
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^ "Bomb Explodes On Jordanian Jet". CBS News. 5 July 2000.

External links[edit]