The History of Royal Jordanian Airlines

1. Early Jordanian Carriers

When Jordan attained its independence in 1946, it sought to extend its id by establishing its personal airline, which took kind on January 1 of that yr as Arab Airways. Inaugurating service to Beirut, it unfold its wings to Baghdad and Cairo by August of 1947, and British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) grew to become its precept investor.

Evolving into Arab Airways Jerusalem, Limited, six years later, it operated a fleet of twin-engine de Havilland Rapides from Jerusalem itself to Beirut and Cairo, however finally added Aden, Amman, Baghdad, and Jeddah. It was not the area’s solely provider, nevertheless.

Air Jordan, established in 1950 by H. E. Ismail Bilbeisi Fasha, had itself commenced service from Amman with Airspeed Consuls, however a 1953 money infusion by Trans Ocean Airlines, a non-scheduled provider that operated constitution and contract flights, enabled it to modernize its fleet with 21-passenger Douglas DC-3s. These in the end linked Amman with Kabul by way of Kuwait and Kandahar.

Mirroring what had now grow to be its competitor, Arab Airways Jerusalem equally acquired this plane sort.

Vying for a lot of the identical passenger base, however going through competitors from different Middle Eastern airways, they elected to merge and kind Air Jordan of the Holy Land.

Initially working two Convair CV-240s leased from Trans Ocean, it bought a DC-4 in 1960, with which it was in a position to serve longer routes, equivalent to these to Rome from its Amman hub. Despite the promise this bigger, quad-engine plane supplied, the fledgling airline was compelled to stop operations on September 1 of the next yr when its license was canceled.

Only a month elapsed earlier than a successor was established-in this case, Jordan Airways, which was collectively owned by personal pursuits (40 %), the Jordanian authorities (25 %), and Middle Eastern Airlines (additionally 25 %), the latter of which supplied it with three leased, turboprop-powered Vickers V.700 Viscounts and flight crews. Its reign was equally transient.

2. Flag Carrier

Seeking to create the nation’s definitive worldwide provider, King Hussein of Jordan, who himself was a pilot, requested Ali Ghandour, then vp of Lebanon International Airways, to plan plans for a flag airline, supposed, in line with the king himself, to function “… a nationwide provider to be our ambassador of goodwill all over the world and the bridge throughout which we alternate tradition, civilization, commerce, know-how, friendship, and higher understanding with the remaining of the world.”

Named after his eldest daughter, the resultant firm was christened Alia Royal Jordanian Airlines. Although its construction was solely finalized on December 8, 1963, the king issued one extra request-namely, that it grow to be airborne inside every week.

Achieving what may solely have been thought-about an inconceivable aim, Ghandour was in a position to remodel plans into planes, buying two Handley Page Herald 207s leased from the Royal Jordanian Air Force and a single Douglas DC-7C, with which he inaugurated service from Amman to Beirut on December 15. Cairo and Kuwait had been added the next week and a second DC-7 enabled it to serve Jeddah.

Piston engines subsequently yielded to pure-jet ones, with the acquisition of Sud-Aviation SE.210-10R Caravelles, the primary of which was delivered on July 29, 1965, and the kind facilitated high-speed, above-the-weather companies to Europe, principally to Rome and Paris.

Ever combating adversity and impediment, nevertheless, it as soon as once more confronted an enemy. Seizing management of Jerusalem two years later, in June, Israel immediately pulled the plug on two of the nation’s most necessary resources–tourism and agriculture-significantly reducing demand for the brand new provider’s companies, which resulted in low plane load components.

It was throughout this newest disaster that the Jordanians found a 3rd resource-namely, themselves-and solely with willpower and dedication did Alia stay aloft. The authorities’s subsequent acquisition of it gave it the required monetary assist.

Having efficiently navigated its newest turbulence, it marked its entrance into the Nineteen Seventies with the acquisition of its first long-range jet plane, receiving the primary of two Boeing 707-320Cs on January 19 of the next yr, and these facilitated route enlargement, particularly to Karachi within the east and Madrid, Casablanca, and Copenhagen within the west.

A joint, though transient, service was additionally operated from Karachi to East Africa with Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

The 707 was solely the primary of a number of Boeing sorts acquired. Two 720Bs, as an example, had been obtained in 1972 for medium-range, lower-density sectors, whereas three 727-200 Advanced tri-jets had been bought for short- to medium-range operations. Equipped with a extra versatile and economical fleet, it was in a position to broaden inside the area and to the European continent.

Entering the widebody period, Alia obtained the primary of two Boeing 747-200Bs on December 15, 1976, which facilitated the launch of transatlantic service from Amman to New York and Houston by way of Vienna or Amsterdam in July of the next yr, the primary Arab provider to take action. It grew to become the primary of two widebody sorts to be operated.

Deviating from its all-Boeing fleet, it ordered six Lockheed L-1011-500s. Entering service in October of 1981 between Amman and London-Heathrow, the tri-engine sort enabled the provider to serve European locations and several other Middle East locations, equivalent to these to the Gulf States, with widebody plane for the primary time.

Supplementing its 747s, it operated the Amman-Vienna/Amsterdam-New York routes on choose days, in addition to a newly inaugurated one to Los Angeles with an intermediate cease in Chicago. The JFK sector was additionally upgraded to nonstop standing and a few flights operated by means of Montreal.

By 1982, it operated seven 707-320Cs, one 720-030B, six 727-200 Advanceds, three 747-200Bs, of which two had been in combi configuration with primary deck cargo loading capabilities, and two L-1011-500s.

After retirement of the four-engine slim our bodies, by 1985 its fleet centered across the 747 for long-range, high-density routes, the TriStar 500 for medium- to long-range, medium-density segments, and the 727 for short- to medium-range, low-density sectors.

December 15, 1986 marked a number of milestones: the Jordanian flag provider celebrated each its tenth anniversary of Middle East-United States service and its silver, quarter century jubilee, marking the event with a brand new company picture and title, the latter amended from Alia to, merely, Royal Jordanian Airlines, with a view to emphasize its id.

“The new company title,” mentioned Ali Ghandour, its Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, “is the embodiment of our sense of heritage, in addition to our sense of future, of our accomplishments and aspirations, and within the course of the ‘royal’ connection that we’ve got maintained for the reason that very starting is recognized, emphasised, and acknowledged.

“Last however not least,” he concluded, “I want to stress that we didn’t search change for its personal sake, however to show to ourselves and to the world that we’re progressive in our outlook, decided in our efforts to forge forward, and assured in addition to full of hopes of a vivid future.”

Royal Jordanian’s route system, as of January 1, 1987, consisted of 41 cities in 34 nations on 4 continents.

Of these, three had been long-range North Atlantic routes, together with the Amman-Vienna-New York, Amman-Amsterdam-New York, and Amman-Vienna-Chicago-Los Angeles sectors, and two had been long-range Far Eastern ones, inclusive of Amman-Bangkok and Amman-Kuala Lumpur-Singapore.

Two North African routes had been established, from Amman to Tripoli and from Amman to Tunis and Casablanca, whereas a single vacation spot was served within the former Soviet Union, Moscow.

European locations included Amsterdam, Athens, Belgrade, Brussels, Bucharest, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Geneva, Istanbul, Larnaca, London, Madrid, Paris-Orly, Rome, and Vienna.

Not surprisingly, a heavy Middle East route focus encompassed Abu Dhabi, Amman, Baghdad, Bahrain, Cairo, Damascus, Dhahran, Doha, Dubai, Jeddah, Karachi, Kuwait, Muscat, Riyadh, and Sana’a.

Its sole home sector was that between its hub and Aqaba.

Two joint companies had been additionally operated–those to Beirut with Middle Eastern Airlines and to East Berlin with Interflug.

During the five-year interval from 1979 to 1983, the annual quantity of passengers carried included the next: 1979: 915,000; 1980: 1,100,000; 1981: 1,440,000; 1982: 1,667,273; and 1983: 1,457,334.

3. Subsidiaries

Aside from the airline itself, Royal Jordanian counted a number of airborne- and ground-based subsidiaries inside its portfolio.

Of the previous was Arab Air Cargo. Succeeding Jordanian World Airways, which itself had been established in 1974, it was based in March of 1982 as a joint Jordanian-Iraqi enterprise and inaugurated cargo service on May 1 of the next yr with two 707-320Cs in freighter configuration.

Both a member of the Arab Air Carriers Organization (AACO) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), it flew to cities equivalent to Amman, Amsterdam, Baghdad, Brussels, Dubai, Larnaca, London, and Rome. Six hundred twelve flights had been undertaken in 1985, throughout which 4,521 income hours had been flown and 21,166 tons of cargo had been carried, netting $16.6 million.

Arab Wings, its second subsidiary, supplied speedy, on-demand enterprise jet constitution service to distant and inaccessible elements of the Middle East and was then the one operation of its sort within the area. Jointly financed by the federal government of Oman (one-third) and Royal Jordanian itself (two-thirds), it inaugurated service in May of 1975 and operated two six-passenger Gates Learjet 35s and a single eight-passenger Rockwell Sabreliner 75A from Amman and Muscat flight bases.

During the three-year interval from 1981 to 1983, it respectively carried 1,636, 2,116, and 1,390 passengers.

A separate department, Arab Wings Flying Ambulance (AWFA), supplied aeromedical service and first took to the sky in 1978.

Sierra Leone Airlines, its third subsidiary, was shaped in 1982 to succeed the 1958-established Sierra Leone Airways and inaugurated service that November from Freetown, Sierra Leone, to London, with shared possession by Royal Jordanian (20 %), personal pursuits (20 %), and the Sierra Leone authorities (60 %).

Subsequent enlargement resulted within the inauguration of worldwide companies from Freetown-Lungi to Abidjan (Ivory Coast), Accra (Ghana), Dakar (Senegal), Lagos (Nigeria), Las Palmas (Canary Islands), London, Monrovia (Liberia), and Paris, whereas home flights, based mostly at Freetown-Hastings, linked the airport with Bonthe, Kenema, and Yangema, all with one 707-320, one 720, and two Britten-Norman Trislanders. These had been later changed by CASA C-212-200 Aviocars.

Aside from these subsidiaries, Royal Jordanian additionally had a number of ground-based ones. These included Queen Alia International Airport (QAIA), which opened on May 25, 1983 and featured two inter-connected terminals with 12 gates and will yearly deal with as much as 5 million passengers.

Hospitality Service, which had the capability to organize 20,000 day by day meals for in-flight catering functions, the terminal restaurant, the snack bars, and the workers cafeterias, managed the four-star, 315-room Alia Gateway Hotel, which opened in 1985 and was utilized by transit passengers and flight crews. It additionally oversaw the airport obligation free retailers.

Royal Jordanian’s coaching middle was subdivided into the Technical Training Institute and the Commercial and Management Center.

Consisting of each civil and navy branches, the Royal Jordanian Air Academy, one more subsidiary, was designated the Regional Technical Center for the Middle East in 1985 by IATA.

Several different considerations included the Queen Noor Civil Aviation Institute; Arab Air Services, which was the engineering consultative department that aided within the design and development of the airport itself between 1979 and 1983; the Royal Jordanian Folklore Group; the Alia Art Gallery; and Royal Tours.

4. RJ Today

Fleet modernization marked the final decade of Royal Jordanian’s twentieth century historical past and signaled a loyalty shift from long-time Boeing and Lockheed merchandise to Airbus Industrie plane, the primary of which was the A-310-300.

Powered by two excessive bypass ratio turbofans and flown by a two-person cockpit crew, it changed the 727s on routes the place demand exceeded its capability or proved too skinny for its L-1011s, but supplied twin-aisle widebody consolation. Because of its vary functionality, it even operated the one-stop Jordan-US transatlantic sectors, notably throughout reduced-demand durations.

These, nevertheless, had been primarily flown by a second Airbus fleet addition, the quad-engine A-340-200, which finally changed each the 747s and the TriStars.

Bonafide 727 replacements, on regional, Middle Eastern, North African, and European segments, took kind because the twin-engine, slim physique A-319, A-320, and A-321 household, whereas short- and regional-range routes had been flown by one more sort, the dual-class configured Embraer E-175 and E-195, which respectively accommodated 72 and 100 passengers. Both had been well-suited to the 45-minute hop between the capital and the Red Sea resort of Aqaba.

Accepted as a member of the Oneworld alliance in 2007, Royal Jordanian continued to improve its long-range fleet, buying 233,000-kg A-330-200s configured for twenty-four Crown and 259 economic system seats between 2010 and 2011 and 227,930-kg 787-8 Dreamliners respectively accommodating 24 and 247 passengers between August and November of 2014. The A-310s had intermittently been transformed into freighters with upward-opening, primary deck cargo doorways and the A-340s, as a result of of their no-longer economical, four-engine gasoline consumption, had been altogether faraway from service.

Poised on the brink of its golden jubilee on December 15, 2012, Royal Jordanian launched a fiftieth anniversary livery on one of its plane, which re-enacted the provider’s first scheduled path to Beirut.

Having combated impediment and regional battle, it had served as an important contributor to the nation’s tradition and economic system. With few pure assets, and its agriculture and tourism having as soon as been locked within the occupied West Bank, it had served because the air bridge to the remaining of the world, turning into one of the nation’s main income sources, and for that reason considered connecting passengers as very important to its continued existence. As a end result, it had, to a major diploma, served as the inspiration upon which the nation itself had depended.

Reflecting on the provider’s historical past throughout the golden jubilee ceremony held at Queen Alia International Airport in December of 2012, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Nasser Lozi, mentioned, “When His Majesty King Hussein launched Alia-as RJ was named-on December 15, 1963, he wished it to be the nationwide provider of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan with the intention of contributing to the progress of Jordan and selling interplay with different cultures and establishing relations with different nations… (Today) we’re proud of being the nationwide provider that connects Jordan and the Levant with the world.”

Looking again at its progress, which noticed its quantity of annual passengers enhance from 87,000 in 1964 to greater than 3.3 million in 2012, President and CEO Amer Hadidi mentioned, “Royal Jordanian has been a pioneer in establishing a stable base for the air transport business regionally and regionally.”

Operating three E-175s, 5 E-195s, 4 A-319-100s, six A-320-200s, two A-321-200s, three A-330-200s, and 5 787-8s by the tip of 2014, Royal Jordanian served 54 locations on 4 continents and appeared properly profiled to proceed the mission its founder established.

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