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Royal Jordanian Has Started a Voluntary Redundancy Scheme in Desperate Turnaround Plan

Royal Jordanian Has Started a Voluntary Redundancy Scheme in Desperate Turnaround Plan

Royal Jordanian Has Started a Voluntary Redundancy Scheme in Desperate Turnaround Plan

When we think of airlines in the Middle East, we tend to concentrate on the region’s biggest players like Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways – these three airlines have built vast route networks with aircraft fleet’s that match in size.  It’s easy to see the Arabian aviation industry as a success story (whether through government subsidies or business acumen) but you’d be ignoring a number of other national carrier’s in the region who are struggling to survive.

Gulf Air, the national airline of the Kingdom of Bahrain, used to provide air services for many cities in the region – including Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the UAE.  That was until the rulers of Dubai decided to go it alone and set up Emirates.  Now Gulf Air is just a shadow of its former self.

Another airline which has never quite managed to achieve widespread success is Royal Jordanian.  Created in 1963, the carrier never received the same kind of financial support that other airlines in the region have benefited from.  In fact, the carrier was even fully privatised in 2007.

Since then, Royal Jordanian has struggled to find its place in an increasingly crowded and fiercely competitive market.  Despite being a member of the Oneworld alliance, the airline has had to contend with complex political issues and a poor geographical location.

In the last 12-months, Royal Jordanian has been fighting hard to turn its fortunes around.  Last year, the airline appointed Stefan Pichler as its new CEO – a former executive at airberlin – who has started a radical cost-cutting drive at the carrier.

We’ve already seen Royal Jordanian cut 8-routes from its network – reducing its total number of routes to just 50 destinations with a relatively small fleet of 33 aircraft.  On top of that, RJ has been offering a lot of discounts on flights at the moment, with new sales seemingly popping up every week.

And now we’ve learnt the airline is offering voluntary redundancy as its next step to reduce costs.  As one of the few countries in the region that recognises labour unions, Royal Jordanian has managed to gain the backing from the General Union for Air Transport and Tourism to reduce the airline’s headcount.

According to the airline the move is being made as part of its turnaround plan to “achieve sustainable profitability.”  Staff who take up the offer will receive half a months salary for every year of service.  The union said it had worked to secure fair compensation for staff who take up the offer.

Unsurprisingly, Royal Jordanian is not currently hiring any new staff, including flight attendants.  Sadly, the airline is one of several in the region which only advertises for female ex-pat flight attendants who are below the age of 30 years old.

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