By Andy Sambidge
Airline chief says 774,000 customers carried, seat factor rises 10% in first quarter of 2012
Royal Jordanian said on Saturday it transported more than 774,000 passengers in the first quarter of 2012, compared to 615,000 passengers carried in the same period of 2011, an increase of 26 percent.
Hussein Dabbas, the airline's president and CEO, said the positive performance indicators came during the weakest part of the year in terms of demand for travel.
He added that the rise in the number of passengers increased the seat factor by 10 percent to 71 percent.
The airline, which serves 60 direct international destinations, also saw flight frequencies up by six percent and flying hours by five percent in the first quarter of the year.
Dabbas said in a statement that he hoped that the Middle East countries will see more stability, leading to the revival of travel and tourism in the region.
Earlier this month, Royal Jordanian, a member of the British Airways-led Oneworld alliance, said a merger with a larger carrier was inevitable as high fuel prices, competition from local rivals and a sluggish economy squeezed earnings.
Dabbas said: “We are looking and reviewing options and talking to airlines to see when the time is right for us to do something.
“With the pressure we are seeing from mega-carriers around the world, whether European or regional, to continue as we are is going to be a difficult game to follow.”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.