Royal Jordanian to order 20 new aircraft to expand its single-aisle fleet

Amman, Jordan - Royal Jordanian is planning to order 20 new aircraft to partially replace and expand its single-aisle fleet, which consists of older generation Airbus and Embraer jets.

Royal Jordanian currently operates 11 Airbus A320, two Embraer E-175 and two Embraer E-195. The only new generation jets in the airline's fleet are seven wide-body Boeing 787-8.

The Middle-Eastern carrier now is planning to include a newer generation aircraft type in its single-aisle fleet. Royal Jordanian's CEO Stefan Pichler told aviation analyst Alex Macheras that its company has been working on it for a while.

“For us, there was a lot of change throughout the year-long assessment because Airbus took over Bombardier CSeries, and a new partnership was formed between Boeing and Embraer. We started with four aircraft suppliers, somehow the landscape has changed and reduced it to two” Pichler told Macheras during this special interview.

“Everything comes down to dollars. We have been in the discussions with aircraft manufacturers, engine suppliers — and ultimately, all aircraft can fly. Commonality is nice. But it’s got a dollar sign. There isn’t an “I love it” option, everything comes down to money” Pichler added.

Pichler confirmed to Alex Macheras that Royal Jordanian considers several options including the Airbus A220 and Embraer E2 series jets.

The chief executive said the aircraft type must be appropriate for the Royal Jordanian's network.

Pichler has also emphasized that their decision won't be affected by the ongoing Boeing 737 MAX crisis.

“Our order can’t be influenced by short-term noise such as the current 737 MAX grounding. It’s temporary. Boeing will recover, and so the MAX jet was part of the considerations,” he said.

Royal Jordanian will announce the aircraft type choosen for the upcoming fleet expansion by the end this month.

To read the full interview, visit Alex Macheras' personal Blog at aviationanalyst.co.uk