By Massoud A. Derhally
Higher profits were curbed by fuel prices of more than US$110 per barrel of oil
Royal Jordanian, the national carrier of Jordan, said it made a net profit of JD1.1m (US$1.6m) last year after posting a JD57.9m net loss in 2011 as the airline carried more passengers and reduced its costs.
Higher profits were curbed by fuel prices of more than US$110 per barrel of oil, which cost the airline about JD290m in 2012, or 40 percent of its operational costs, Chairman Nasser Lozi, said in an emailed statement.
The Amman-based airline carried 3.4m passengers last year - 6 percent more than the previous year as the seat factor increased to 73 percent from 70 percent in 2011.
The airline said revenue increased 9 percent to JD802m in 2012 compared with JD736m the previous year.
Royal Jordanian said it aims to increase its capital to JD184.3m from JD84.3m.
The government holds a 29 percent stake in the carrier which was founded in 1963 and went public in 2007. Lebanon’s M1 Group, which belongs to the Mikati family, is the largest single private shareholder in the carrier, holding 19 percent of the company.
The carrier plans to expand as it overhauls its fleet with Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner and leverage’s transit traffic at Amman’s new airport to African and Asian destinations. Direct purchases and leases combined, Royal Jordanian has committed to 11 787-8s, which it will start receiving in 2014.
The Middle East carrier was the first airline in the Middle East to order the 787 Dreamliner, placing its first orders for four 787s in 2007 and also has arranged to lease two airplanes each from CIT Aerospace and International Lease Finance Co.
It will place the 787 on North American routes initially, including New York, Chicago, Detroit and Toronto.For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.