National carrier defies gobal aviation sector downturn
Jordan’s national carrier Royal Jordanian recorded a net profit of JD28.6m ($40m) in 2009, despite the downturn in the global aviation industry.
It marks a turnaround for the airline, following its net loss of JD24.7m in 2008. The airline recorded a JD52.1m pre-tax profit for 2009, compared to JD24.9m the previous year.
President and chief executive officer Hussein Dabbas says operational revenues declined 15 per cent to JD598m in 2009, from JD700m in 2008. This is because of the impact of the economic downturn on the travel and tourism market and a decrease in cargo levels.
The airline is modernising its fleet and will buy two Airbus A330 aircraft in 2010. It plans to replace four Airbus A320 and two A321 with new aircraft between 2011and 2012. It will take delivery of Boeing 787 aircraft in 2013.
Earlier in February, Jordan’s Civil Aviation Authority cancelled an exclusivity deal for Royal Jordanian to operate regular flights to and from the country. Jordan’s other airlines, Royal Wings and Royal Falcons, can now compete directly with the national carrier (MEED 10:2:10).
The aviation industry will be slow to recover from the recent economic downturn and, globally, airlines are expected to lose $5.6bn this year, according to the International Air Transport Association.