Flag carrier Royal Jordanian (RJ) has posted a hefty increase in full-year 2005 profits, and announced a major fleet renewal plan. Preparations are also continuing for the company’s potential privatisation.

Net 2005 profits rose to JD 21.7 million ($30.8 million), while total revenues climbed by 12 per cent to JD 387 million ($550 million). Total passenger numbers increased by 4.9 per cent to 1.8 million, while the seat factor was almost static at 70 per cent.

Under the fleet renewal plan, RJ will take delivery in October of seven Embraer 195s from Brazil’s Embraer. Four will be acquired directly from the Brazilian firm while the remaining three will be leased from the US’ GE Commercial Aviation Services. The Embraer 195s will be used for short and medium-haul routes and are due to start operations by 2008.

RJ also has plans to take six new Airbus A340s on an operating lease from Europe’s Airbus, two of which have already joined the fleet and, in October, the airline purchased two Bombardier Q400 turboprops from Canada’s Bombardier.

Plans are ongoing for the airline’s privatisation. A financial adviser is due to be appointed once the World Bank has completed a study on the sale (MEED 8:7:05).