Royal Jordanian (RJ, Amman Queen Alia) needs JOD275 million dinars (USD388 million) to be able to restructure its capital and overcome its JOD321 million (USD453 million) in accumulated losses, CEO Samer Majali told a parliamentary committee in Amman on May 31.

Called in to discuss the company’s new five-year business plan and the challenges it faces, Majali told the House of Representatives’ Tourism, Antiquities, and Public Services Committee that JOD200 million (USD282.5 million) of the amount was needed to address its capital deficit, local media reported. The company lost a further JOD74.3 million (USD104.8 million) last year, he confirmed.

As it battles rising fuel and other costs, the majority-state-owned airline flag carrier is in talks with the government to raise its capital by about JOD70 million (USD98.7 million), he said and called for urgent support.

Majali presented the main features of the company’s plan for the next five years, which includes increasing its network of destinations to about 60, modernising its ageing fleet, and developing services for passengers. Committee chief Majid Al-Rawashdeh stressed the importance of supporting Royal Jordanian as the national carrier to enhance Jordan’s position as a strategic transit point and bolster the economy by revitalising travel, tourism, and cargo. He called on the Ministry of Transport to support the airline.

The previous day, on May 30, Royal Jordanian held its annual general meeting, unanimously approving its latest annual report and the business plan. Chairman Said Darwazah summarised that the airline had cut its operational costs wherever possible and was reviewing the contracts with service providers in Jordan and abroad, including lessors. Its five-year plan is "programmed to restructure the company and enable it to achieve the positive results sought by shareholders," he said.

Royal Jordanian will work this year to resume flights from Amman to Najaf, Copenhagen Kastrup, Moscow, Geneva, and Zurich, all of which were halted due to the pandemic, and increase the number of destinations from 35 to 60 in five years. According to the ch-aviation capacities module, it currently stands at 38.

Moreover, the fleet will soon be embellished "with new and specialised cargo aircraft," Darwazah pledged. Overall, the fleet will grow over the five years from 23 to 41 aircraft, he added.

Majali had told ch-aviation in October that Royal Jordanian was about to issue a Request for Proposals for 30 regional and narrowbody jets and was looking to build on its dedicated freighter fleet, which currently comprises a single A310-300(F). In December, however, he told Bloomberg News that the airline needed JOD200 million (USD282 million) in state funding during 2022 or it risked collapse.

At the AGM, an airline executive explained that "the strategic plan is to build a network that relies heavily on transforming Jordan as a centre for the Levant region and building a group of airlines to serve all major and secondary airports in the region, enhancing connections between these destinations and the rest of the world." He reiterated that it had launched the tender to replace short and medium-haul aircraft and that "all offers submitted by June are being studied."