Amman-based oneworld member Royal Jordanian is in the process of renewing and expanding its fleet. A few days ago we learned about the carrier placing an order with Airbus, and now we’ve learned about the airline placing an order with Embraer.
This is part of Royal Jordanian’s plan to expand its fleet from 24 to 40 aircraft over the next five years, so that’s some significant growth. Let’s go over the details.
Royal Jordanian’s current fleet
For context, Royal Jordanian currently has a fleet of 24 passenger aircraft, including:
- Five Airbus A319s, which are an average of ~15 years old
- Six Airbus A320s, which are an average of ~11 years old
- Two Airbus A321s, which are an average of ~10 years old
- Seven Boeing 787-8s, which are an average of ~seven years old
- Two Embraer E175s, which are an average of ~14 years old
- Two Embraer E195s, which are an average of ~14 years old
Six different types of aircraft across a fleet of just two dozen planes is quite some variety. Then again, there is some fleet commonality between the various Airbus jets and the two types of Embraer jets, so for the purposes of crew training, there are only three fleet types.
When all is said and done, the airline has an average fleet age of around 12 years. While that’s hardly old, it’s probably a good time to start thinking about fleet renewal, since orders are often made years in advance.
Royal Jordanian orders 20 Airbus A320neos
Royal Jordanian’s CEO has revealed that the airline has placed an order for 20 Airbus A320neos. This is the updated version of the Airbus A320, featuring improved fuel efficiency and a quieter cabin.
These 20 planes will be replacing the 13 Airbus A320-family aircraft that Royal Jordanian currently flies, meaning that the airline will be expanding its fleet quite a bit. Furthermore, there’s also going to be a lot more fleet consistency, since the airline will exclusively fly A320neos, rather than a mix of A319s, A320s, and A321s.
While the exact delivery timeline remains to be seen, it’s expected that these planes will feature Wi-Fi, seatback entertainment, and more. Furthermore, at least some of the A320neos will feature flat beds.
Keep in mind that Royal Jordanian uses its Airbus fleet for many routes to Europe, which are considered “premium,” so that explains the flat beds. It sure would be nice if Royal Jordanian just went for full consistency, and installed flat beds on all A320neos (that can be done pretty efficiently with Collins Aerospace Diamond seats, for example).
Royal Jordanian orders 10 Embraer E190-E2s
Royal Jordanian is also planning on expanding its regional jet fleet. Royal Jordanian has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to acquire 10 Embraer E2 jets, including the E190-E2 and E195-E2 variant. These jets will be used to replace the carrier’s four current Embraer aircraft, including the E175 and E195.
The airline is primarily planning on using these planes for short haul flights, within two hours of Amman. Royal Jordanian will be able to significantly increase capacity, given that the airline is going from four to 10 regional jets.
Royal Jordanian plans to equip E195-E2s with 120 seats, including 12 business class seats and 108 economy class seats. Meanwhile the E190-E2s will be equipped with 92 seats, including 12 business class seats and 80 economy class seats.
Embraer’s E2 jet is incredibly fuel efficient and long range, though the range won’t even be needed here, as the plane will only be used on short haul routes. I was curious to see if Royal Jordanian would choose to the Airbus A220 or Embraer E2, so it’s interesting to see the airline go with the E2 (since so many airlines go with the A220).
The exact delivery timeline remains to be seen, beyond the planes joining Royal Jordanian’s fleet in “the coming years.”
Royal Jordanian plans to add Boeing 787s
It’s amazing to see the pace at which Royal Jordanian is refreshing its fleet. Not only has the airline ordered Airbus A320neos and Embraer E2 jets, but the airline also plans on increasing its Boeing 787 fleet.
Royal Jordanian plans to increase its Boeing 787 fleet from seven to 11 jets, including the possibility of adding either Boeing 787-9s or 787-10s. That order hasn’t yet been finalized, though I imagine we’ll find out the details soon enough. Hopefully Royal Jordanian installs a new business class product on these jets, as the current product is quite outdated.
Royal Jordanian will be refreshing and expanding its fleet, which is pretty exciting. The airline will acquire 20 Airbus A320neos, which will replace 13 existing A319s, A320s, and A321s. On top of that, the airline will acquire 10 Embraer E190-E2s and E195-E2s, which will replace four existing E175s and E195s. Lastly, it’s expected that Royal Jordanian will expand its Boeing 787 fleet, but the details of that remain to be seen.
This is an exciting development, as Jordan has great geography for connectivity in the Middle East. I just wish Royal Jordanian had a bit more competitive of a long haul business class product.
What do you make of Royal Jordanian’s fleet renewal?