Royal Jordanian’s President/CEO Stefan Pichler held a press conference at Fairmont Hotel, Amman, today, where he presented the strategic pillars of the Royal Jordanian turnaround plan which was approved by RJ’s Board of Directors during its session of October 30, 2017.
Pichler also announced the financial results RJ achieved in the third quarter of 2017, when it registered net profits of JD31.8 million against JD12.9 million net profit attained in the same period last year.
Pichler said that RJ’s finances have started to recover since the beginning of June, which marked the start of the company achieving the first monthly net profit in 2017. He noted that the net income increased exponentially in the following months, enabling Royal Jordanian to cover the JD27.8 million losses incurred in the first five months of the year and record a cumulative net profit of JD5.4 million for Jan-Sept. 2017 against JD2.7 million net loss incurred in the same period last year.
According to Pichler, the strategic objective of Royal Jordanian is to position itself as the number 1 network carrier in the Levant.
This is based on three main pillars, foremost among which sustainable profitability that attracts the capital market and targets increasing operating margins in the coming five years.
The second pillar of the plan focuses on RJ being a Consumer Champion, by thinking of customers first and delivering a consistent customer experience across all touch points.
The third pillar would see RJ become the Employer of Choice, attracting and retaining talented and skilled workforce, while providing the best training and career planning, and managing and rewarding performance.
Pichler said that the turnaround plan will position RJ as the number one airline in the Levant; the airline will revisit its route network to enhance connectivity through RJ’s hub in Amman and will simplify the fleet to run a consistent flight schedule and thus make future growth easier.
Royal Jordanian will keep offering super-low fares to retain loyal customers and gain new ones who will also see improved services and a seamless travel experience.
Pichler added that Royal Jordanian will open new international routes in the coming five years, to Washington, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Kyrenia, in Cyprus, and will resume flying on previously suspended routes, including Damascus, Mosul, Sanaa, Aden and Benghazi.
In terms of the fleet, the company will merge into a single supplier for all the narrow body fleet from currently two aircraft manufacturers, considerably reducing expenses on maintenance, spare parts and training. Additionally, the airline will add more Economy Class seats in its narrow-body planes, and thus increase the earning capacity, by cutting down the number of Crown Class seats while keeping the comfortable pitch of both classes’ seats. This move will generate more revenues for RJ.
Pichler noted that today’s fleet of 26 aircraft will grow gradually to reach 30 by 2021; seven of them will be the currently operating 787s.
He underscored that according to the turnaround plan, Royal Jordanian will exert more effort to boost its presence in Aqaba, in cooperation with the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority and the local tourism entities, with the objective of increasing traffic to the coastal city from several countries around the world. This will lead to supporting the national economy and bringing in more revenues for the airline. He addressed his hope “that the Aqaba authorities as well as business community will support us to the same degree we want to support them, and to the best of our economy”.
Pichler also said that the five-year plan will include major initiatives that are expected to enhance unit revenues by 7% and lower unit costs by 6%.