Bracing for the repercussions

Jordan’s Royal Jordanian draws up a contingency plan and hopes for the best amid rising tension in the region

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By  Massoud Derhally Published  March 11, 2003

Royal Jordanian airlines (RJ) has a strategic plan in place should war break out in Iraq, Samer Majali, the airline’s CEO told Arabian Business.

RJ’s Majali has learned a great deal about the ups and downs of the airline industry and despite a gruelling two years the chief executive is confident and committed that the national air carrier will outride the coming storm.

“In spite of the continued after effects, at the beginning of last year, of the unfortunate events of 9-11 plus the heavy Israeli incursions which started in March 2002, Royal Jordanian was able to turn things around,” Majali told Arabian Business.

“RJ improved its market share out of Jordan, its traffic and ended up with a result of US $6 million in operating profit and in excess of US$ 500,000 in net profit, a substantial turn around from the results of 2001 where we had an operating loss and a net loss,” he added. The airline ended 2001 with a net loss of US $15 million on turnover of $215 million.

The beginning of 2002 was positive but the looming war in Iraq is set to change the course. The continued uncertainty and what Majali calls the impending situation in Iraq has caused the airlines’ reservations to drop 50% system wide in March 2003 compared to March 2002.

To find out the airline's plans from the full interview with RJ's chief executive, read the May 2003 issue of Arabian Business.

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