Royal Jordanian joins oneworld
Royal Jordanian Airlines was today welcomed on board oneworld®, the world's leading quality global airline alliance, at a series of special celebration events in its Jordan home base.
Royal Jordanian is the first airline from the entire Middle East to find a home with any of the global airline alliances and oneworld's first recruit for some six years. Its addition marks the first step in the alliance's biggest expansion since it was launched eight years ago.
It will be joined on board oneworld in the coming days by Japan Airlines, Asia-Pacific's largest carrier, along with five JAL associates as affiliate members, and by Malév Hungarian Airlines. Two more members of the LAN alliance will board at the same time as well, as affiliate members - LAN Argentina and LAN Ecuador.
Royal Jordanian and together with these other oneworld recruits will start offering oneworld services and benefits from this coming weekend, with all on board from 1 April. Dragonair will join them later this year.
To mark Royal Jordanian's addition to the grouping today, the airline's Chairman Nasser Lozi and Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Samer Majali were joined at the company's Amman home by senior representatives and uniformed staff from all its new partners.
Leading the delegation of visitors were Willie Walsh, Chief Executive of British Airways, which has acted as RJ's oneworld sponsor, and oneworld Managing Partner John McCulloch.
John McCulloch said: "Today is a special day for the oneworld alliance and for aviation worldwide, in the Middle East in particular. With Royal Jordanian and our other recruits, oneworld will broaden its coverage in three of the world's fastest growing regions for air travel. We will add the quality and strength of more great brands to the world's leading airline alliance. We will further increase the value, choice and range that we offer our customers. We are delighted that Royal Jordanian is right at the forefront of this new era."
British Airways Chief Executive Willie Walsh added: "A critical factor in oneworld's success has been the high quality of member airlines, which is why we are extremely careful in our choice of new recruits. We look for partners that fit our brands, that match our high standards of customer service and that share our overall approach to business. When we were looking for potential partners from the Middle East, it did not take us long to settle on Royal Jordanian. It is very clearly an airline we can do business with. We are delighted to welcome Royal Jordanian to oneworld."
Royal Jordanian Chief Executive Samer Majali said: "oneworld invited us to join in October 2005. With the tremendous support of everyone in oneworld, we have successfully achieved this historic milestone just under a year and half later. Becoming a member of oneworld is a huge opportunity for RJ. We will benefit considerably from our membership - through increased revenues, the ability to reduce costs and the opportunities to work together in all sorts of areas with some of the most highly regarded businesses in this industry. It will also boost Amman as an aviation hub in this region, with all the benefits this means for Jordan.
"We also believe Royal Jordanian will add considerable value to oneworld, strengthening its network significantly in the world's fastest growing region for air travel demand. As a member of oneworld, we will be able to offer our customers more choice, convenience, and better value - quality air travel options and benefits beyond the reach of any individual airline or bilateral partnership."
Once it starts offering oneworld services and benefits during this weekend, members of Royal Jordanian's Royal Plus frequent flyer programme will be able to earn and redeem mileage awards on all other oneworld carriers, with Platinum Plus and Gold Plus cardholders also gaining access to the 400 airport lounges worldwide offered by the alliance's airlines.
From the same time, members of the established oneworld airlines' frequent flyer programmes will be able to earn and redeem awards and receive all other oneworld benefits on Royal Jordanian, along with JAL, Malév, LAN Argentina and LAN Ecuador, whose networks will also be covered by oneworld's extensive range of alliance fares and sales products.
The 18-month implementation programme to prepare Royal Jordanian for its oneworld membership is now all but complete. As it joins the alliance, it will offer interline e-ticketing (IET) with all of its oneworld partners. oneworld has been the only alliance with interline e-ticketing (IET) between all of its member airlines since April 2005.
All the necessary internal processes and procedures have been brought into line with the alliance's requirements. Thousands of its employees have participated in a special training programme to ensure they can deliver the alliance's services and benefits from Day One, and dozens of its IT systems linked to those at the other oneworld airlines.
Royal Jordanian has already joined the alliance's Global Explorer round-the-world fare product, which includes some other carriers which are not part of the alliance, and will participate in all the alliance's other fares and sales products from 1 April.
About Royal Jordanian
Royal Jordanian serves more than 50 destinations in 33 countries, including 27 points in the Levant, Middle East, Gulf and North Africa, along with points in Asia, Europe and North America. Its 3,300 staff operate a fleet of almost 25 aircraft - including newly-delivered Airbus A340s, A321s and A320s and Embraer 195s. Last year, the airline boarded 1.7 million passengers.
It reported net profits of US$31 million in its latest full year (2005), on revenues of US$546 million. Founded in 1963, it is currently a public shareholding company wholly owned by the Jordanian government, which intends to privatise it during 2007.
Royal Jordanian received the prestigious Phoenix Award from Air Transport World earlier this year and a similar award from the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation late in 2006, both in recognition of its successful restructuring programme which has seen the company restored to profitability, re-equipped with a new fleet and with a refocused network.
oneworld enables its member airlines to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own. These include a broader route network, opportunities to earn and redeem frequent flyer miles and points across the combined oneworld network and more airport lounges.
Its established member airlines comprise American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, LAN Airlines and Qantas.
JAL, Malév and Royal Jordanian and the new affiliates will expand the size of the alliance substantially, to:
- Almost 700 airports, around a hundred more than now.
- Nearly 150 countries.
- 9,000 daily departures, a thousand more than today.
- Around 315 million passengers, 65 million more than at present.
- 265,000 employees.
- Almost 2,500 aircraft.
- US$85 billion revenues, up by a third.
oneworld is the only alliance whose members collectively achieved a profit in their latest full financial years. It was voted the World's Leading Airline Alliance for the fourth year running in the 2006 World Travel Awards, based on votes cast by some 170,000 travel professionals, including more than 110,000 travel agents in 200 countries.