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Royal Jordanian

Royal Jordanian is a young airline compared to other airline companies. It was begun in 1963 after a decree by His Royal Highness the late King Hussein. The airline was named Alia then, to honor the King's daughter.


Royal Jordanian Airbus A310-300
(F-OVDI).

Larger version

Alia Jordanian Airlines started with only a handful of airplanes and 3 international routes, to Kuwait City, Beirut and Cairo. Since Jordan is a very small country, the airline has had to basically rely mostly on international services since its start.

Two Handley-Page Dart Heralds[?] and a DC-7[?] were used.

1964 saw another DC-7 arrive and service to Jeddah[?] inaugurated.

In 1965, Alia touched down in Europe for the first time, with Rome added to the route system.

All the progress the airline made was threatened by the Israeli air raid during the 1967 war when the DC-7's were destroyed. These planes were replaced by two Fokker F-27[?] planes.

1968 saw expansion to Nicosia, Benghazi, Dhahran[?] and Doha, the latter in Qatar.

1969 saw further expansion into Europe and other parts of Asia, including Munich, Tehran and Istanbul.

The 1970s loomed and Alia realized it needed to join the jet age. Because of this, they began to phase out the F-27's and ordered Boeing 707 aircraft. Frankfurt and Abu Dhabi become Alia cities in 1970. and in 1971 the 707's arrived.

1971 saw Madrid become the first Spanish city on Alia's system. Copenhagen and Karachi were also added.

The rest of the decade was a period of groundbreaking for the airline, several plane types , such as Boeing 720[?]'s Boeing 727's and Boeing 747's added. In 1975 Alia made hisstory by allowing the first Arab female plane crew member into one of Alias cockpits, proving that the airline could also set an example as a company that considered women's rights in Jordan to be equal.

A Catering Department was established in the airline, as well as duty free shops in Amman's airport, which helped the airline economically because with the duty free shops more and more passengers would choose Amman as a destination where to buy cheap goods.

Services were added to several other cities, including:Bahrain, Dubai, Muscat, Rabat, Geneva, Amsterdam, Baghdad, Bangkok, Vienna, Larcana[?], Damascus, New York, Ras Al-Khaimah[?] and Houston.

In 1979, Alia became a founding member of the Arab Airlines Technical Consortium (AATC).

The 1980s were a time that would reshape the airline. To begin with, Tunis and Tripoli joined the route map, and Alias IBM computer center was inaugurated. Lockheed L-1011[?]'s and Airbus A310s and A320's joined the fleet and in 1986, Alia officially changed its name to Royal Jordanian. The airline's first woman pilot flew one of their aircrafts for the first time during this decade, and services were added to other cities, including Belgrade, Chicago, Bucharest, Los Angeles, Singapore, Riyadh, Kuala Lumpur (in cooperation with Malaysian Airlines[?]), Sana'a, Moscow, Miami, Montreal, New Delhi Calcutta and Ankara. This decade also saw the opening of the Gabriel Automated Ticket System, (GATS).

The 1990s saw the expansion movement keep on going. Royal Jordanian and nine other Arabian airlines signed up with the Galileo reservations system, the IMCS maintenance and engineering system was added, a new city terminal was opened in Amman, services to Gaza were inaugurated, making Royal Jordanian the first airline to fly to the new Gaza International Airport[?], Royal Jordanian restarted flights to Tehran and Tripoli and the cities of Toronto, Colombo, Jakarta, Berlin, Mumbai and Milan started receiving Royal Jordanian flights. Royal Jordanian became code sharing partners with TWA and a local subsidiary, Royal Wings[?], started taking care of Royal Jordanian's only domestic service, to Aqaba[?], using a Fokker F-27 plane.

In 2000 the FAA renewed RJ's maintenance and engineering department's license, and the duty free shop was among the services to be privatized.

Royal Jordanian became a Public Shareholding Company in 2001 and the name has been officially changed to Alia, The Royal Jordanian Airline, although to its clients it is still known simply as Royal Jordanian. 2001 was also the year that engineer Samer Majali[?] was appointed as the company's new President and CEO.



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