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RJ enters into its 50th year today
Lozi: We are proud of being the national carrier that connects Jordan and the Levant with the world
Hadidi: RJ has been a pioneer in establishing a solid base for the air transport industry locally and regionally
Amman, Dec. 15, 2012: Royal Jordanian finds itself today on the threshold of its golden jubilee.
On this occasion, the airline organized a ceremony at Queen Alia International Airport to reveal the 50th anniversary logo on an RJ aircraft that flew from Amman to Beirut. The Lebanese capital was the first Royal Jordanian destination, in 1963, the year that saw the launch of the national carrier of Jordan.
RJ Chairman of the Board of Directors Naser Lozi, RJ President/CEO Amer Hadidi and RJ board member Senator Akel Biltaji revealed the logo in the presence of airport officials, the passengers who were leaving for Beirut and the company staff members.
Lozi said that celebrating this occasion on the flight to Beirut reflects the depth of relations between Jordan and Lebanon, which is just as strong as the relations with the other Arab countries. Cairo and Kuwait were the destinations served by RJ after Beirut on the year of its launch. The other Arab capitals and cities followed later. Today, the RJ route network covers 60 worldwide destinations.
“When His Majesty King Hussein launched Alia – as RJ used to be named –on Dec. 15, 1963, he wanted it to be the national carrier of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, with the aim of contributing to the progress of Jordan and promoting interaction with other cultures and establishing relations with other nations, added Lozi.
Over its five-decade history, the airline attained numerous achievements, most prominent among which expanding the route network and modernizing the fleet. It also strived to offer the latest, and best, in air transport industry services — commercial, IT, engineering and maintenance — attaining international recognition after becoming a member of oneworld alliance in 2007, joining big names in the airline business.
Lozi stressed that that the airline’s history is full of great accomplishments achieved with the royal guidance that RJ received over the past five decades. These achievements can be attributed to the fact that the company enjoys qualified and well trained employees who could, over the years, make the vision of what the national carrier of Jordan should be – a modern, developed airline, capable of reflecting the bright image of the country to the world – a reality.
Lozi pointed out that 2007 saw the airline shares being listed on the Amman Stock Exchange, at a capital of JD84.4 million, after the privatization and restructuring of the airline were completed; the company became a public shareholding company, in 2001.
Jordanians now own around 70% of the shares, of which 26% belong to the Jordanian government, 10% to the Social Security Corporation and 3% to the armed forces. Additionally, shares were granted to RJ employees, rewarding them for their efforts over the last few years.
President/CEO Amer Hadidi said that RJ has had a strategic plan over the past years aiming at boosting and promoting its services in different fields. The most prominent feature of the plan was the fleet renewal, expanding the route network, increasing flight frequencies, improving ground and in-flight services, and improving the on-time performance. The airline was successful in executing this strategy that went in parallel with the process of transforming the company into a public shareholding entity. Most of its shares are owned by the Jordanian private sector.
Hadidi added that the remarkable progress of the airline since its establishment is made all the more obvious when comparing the financial and operational results of 1964 to those expected at the end of 2012: the number of carried passengers increased from 87,000 in 1964 to more than 3.3 million in 2012 and the number of yearly flights from 4,193 to 39,000.
RJ used to operate two aircraft, a Handley Page Dart Herald and a DC7, flying to three destinations; now the fleet counts 33 modern aircraft flying to 60 cities spread over four continents.
Hadidi said that revenues increased from JD1 million at the end of 1964 to this year's expected JD750 million. This directly reflects an increase of the employee productivity from JD4,000 in 1964 to JD169,000 in 2012 .
The number of RJ employees increased from 250 in 1964 to 4,500 nowadays. They are highly qualified and experienced in the field of aviation.
Hadidi stressed that RJ has played a pioneering role in establishing a solid base for the air transport industry locally and regionally, and has become a haven for training and a source of manpower for many local, Arab and international carriers.
Network wise, Hadidi said that at the end of last month, RJ completed its medium-range fleet modernization program, which it launched at the beginning of 2011. The program included replacing five operating A320s and A321s with five new ones of the same models, and introduced two additional A320s to further increase seat capacity and thus be able to accommodate the growing demand on travel year on year.
He pointed out that RJ is now preparing to introduce Boeing 787s (Dreamliners) that will operate on the long-haul network. The first batch is expected to join RJ as of 2014. The planes will gradually join the fleet in the course of four years, to replace the currently operating A340s and A330s.
In the area of corporate social responsibility, Hadidi said that since its establishment the RJ mission has consolidated the concept of social interaction and the need to integrate the roles of the public and private sectors to serve different categories of the society. He added that this is embodied in the RJ support for charities and development institutions, and for the sport, artistic and educational activities.
RJ continues to come up with initiatives that are designed to deliver aid to the less fortunate in the various governorates of the Kingdom.
The official Royal Jordanian website www.rj.com offers its customers different services to help undertake travel procedures easily, from the comfort of their homes. These services include flight booking and ticket purchasing using credit cards and printing the boarding passes electronically, in addition to many other facilities and services that can be finalized easily through the website.
Moreover, the social media fan pages of the company are active tools for answering the public inquiries. Both RJ’s Facebook fan page and Twitter account have a large number of fans and followers.
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