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 12 months as Arab Airways. Inaugurating service to Beirut, it unfold its wings to Baghdad and Cairo by August of 1947, and British Abroad Airways Company (BOAC) grew to become its precept investor.

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

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 Airways, a non-scheduled provider that operated constitution and contract flights, enabled it to modernize its fleet with 21-passenger Douglas DC-3s. These finally linked Amman with Kabul through Kuwait and Kandahar.

Mirroring what had now develop into its competitor, Arab Airways Jerusalem equally acquired this plane kind.

Vying for a lot of the identical passenger base, however going through competitors from different Center Japanese 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-Four in 1960, with which it was capable of serve longer routes, equivalent to these to Rome from its Amman hub. Regardless of the promise this bigger, quad-engine plane supplied, the fledgling airline was pressured to stop operations on September 1 of the next 12 months when its license was canceled.

Solely a month elapsed earlier than a successor was established-in this case, Jordan Airways, which was collectively owned by non-public pursuits (40 p.c), the Jordanian authorities (25 p.c), and Center Japanese Airways (additionally 25 p.c), the latter of which offered it with three leased, turboprop-powered Vickers V.700 Viscounts and flight crews. Its reign was equally temporary.

2. Flag Service

Looking for to create the nation’s definitive worldwide provider, King Hussein of Jordan, who himself was a pilot, requested Ali Ghandour, then vice chairman of Lebanon Worldwide Airways, to plot plans for a flag airline, supposed, in accordance 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, expertise, friendship, and higher understanding with the remainder of the world.”

Named after his eldest daughter, the resultant firm was christened Alia Royal Jordanian Airways. Though its construction was solely finalized on December 8, 1963, the king issued one extra request-namely, that it develop into airborne inside per week.

Reaching what might solely have been thought-about an unimaginable aim, Ghandour was capable of remodel plans into planes, buying two Handley Web page Herald 207s leased from the Royal Jordanian Air Pressure 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 providers to Europe, principally to Rome and Paris.

Ever combating adversity and impediment, nonetheless, 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 vital resources–tourism and agriculture-significantly lowering demand for the brand new provider’s providers, 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 federal government’s subsequent acquisition of it gave it the required monetary assist.

Having efficiently navigated its newest turbulence, it marked its entrance into the 1970s with the acquisition of its first long-range jet plane, receiving the primary of two Boeing 707-320Cs on January 19 of the next 12 months, and these facilitated route growth, particularly to Karachi within the east and Madrid, Casablanca, and Copenhagen within the west.

A joint, though temporary, service was additionally operated from Karachi to East Africa with Pakistan Worldwide Airways (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 Superior tri-jets had been bought for short- to medium-range operations. Geared up with a extra versatile and economical fleet, it was capable of increase inside the area and to the European continent.

Getting into the widebody period, Alia acquired 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 through Vienna or Amsterdam in July of the next 12 months, 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. Getting into service in October of 1981 between Amman and London-Heathrow, the tri-engine kind enabled the provider to serve European locations and several other Center 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 fundamental 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 Center East-United States service and its silver, quarter century jubilee, marking the event with a brand new company picture and identify, the latter amended from Alia to, merely, Royal Jordanian Airways, in an effort to emphasize its id.

“The brand new company identify,” mentioned Ali Ghandour, its Chairman of the Board and Chief Government 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 now have maintained for the reason that very starting is recognized, emphasised, and acknowledged.

“Final however not least,” he concluded, “I want to stress that we didn’t search change for its personal sake, however to display 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 stuffed with 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 those, 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 Japanese 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 Center 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 providers had been additionally operated–those to Beirut with Center Japanese Airways and to East Berlin with Interflug.

In the course of the five-year interval from 1979 to 1983, the annual variety 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

Except for 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 Could 1 of the next 12 months with two 707-320Cs in freighter configuration.

Each a member of the Arab Air Carriers Group (AACO) and the Worldwide Civil Aviation Group (ICAO), it flew to cities equivalent to Amman, Amsterdam, Baghdad, Brussels, Dubai, Larnaca, London, and Rome. 600 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, offered fast, on-demand enterprise jet constitution service to distant and inaccessible elements of the Center East and was then the one operation of its type within the area. Collectively financed by the federal government of Oman (one-third) and Royal Jordanian itself (two-thirds), it inaugurated service in Could of 1975 and operated two six-passenger Gates Learjet 35s and a single eight-passenger Rockwell Sabreliner 75A from Amman and Muscat flight bases.

In the course of 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), offered aeromedical service and first took to the sky in 1978.

Sierra Leone Airways, its third subsidiary, was fashioned 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 p.c), non-public pursuits (20 p.c), and the Sierra Leone authorities (60 p.c).

Subsequent growth resulted within the inauguration of worldwide providers 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.

Except for these subsidiaries, Royal Jordanian additionally had a number of ground-based ones. These included Queen Alia Worldwide Airport (QAIA), which opened on Could 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 employees cafeterias, managed the four-star, 315-room Alia Gateway Lodge, 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 heart was subdivided into the Technical Coaching Institute and the Industrial and Administration Heart.

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

A number of different issues included the Queen Noor Civil Aviation Institute; Arab Air Companies, 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 Artwork Gallery; and Royal Excursions.

4. RJ At the moment

Fleet modernization marked the final decade of Royal Jordanian’s 20th 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. Due to its vary functionality, it even operated the one-stop Jordan-US transatlantic sectors, significantly throughout reduced-demand durations.

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

Bonafide 727 replacements, on regional, Center Japanese, 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 yet one more kind, the dual-class configured Embraer E-175 and E-195, which respectively accommodated 72 and 100 passengers. Each had been well-suited to the 45-minute hop between the capital and the Crimson 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 24 Crown and 259 financial system seats between 2010 and 2011 and 227,930-kg 787-Eight 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, fundamental deck cargo doorways and the A-340s, due to 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 50th anniversary livery on one in all its plane, which re-enacted the provider’s first scheduled path to Beirut.

Having combated impediment and regional battle, it had served as a significant contributor to the nation’s tradition and financial system. With few pure sources, and its agriculture and tourism having as soon as been locked within the occupied West Financial institution, it had served because the air bridge to the remainder of the world, changing into one of many nation’s major income sources, and because of this seen connecting passengers as important to its continued existence. Because of this, it had, to a big diploma, served as the muse upon which the nation itself had depended.

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

Wanting again at its progress, which noticed its variety of annual passengers enhance from 87,000 in 1964 to greater than 3.Three million in 2012, President and CEO Amer Hadidi mentioned, “Royal Jordanian has been a pioneer in establishing a strong base for the air transport trade domestically and regionally.”

Working 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 top of 2014, Royal Jordanian served 54 locations on 4 continents and appeared nicely profiled to proceed the mission its founder established.


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