Royal Jordanian Looks At Taking Further Embraer E2s

Royal Jordanian Embraer
Credit: Embraer

Royal Jordanian is examining the possibility of acquiring further Embraer E2s as it prepares to take delivery of the first of a new batch of the crossover jets.

The airline currently operates two E175s and two E195s that are “quite long in the tooth,” with the aircraft having entered service in 2006, Royal Jordanian CEO and vice-chairman Samer Majali said at the Arab Air Carriers Organization annual meeting in Riyadh last month.

Earlier this year, the airline firmed up an order for four E190 E2 and four E195 E2. Two are being bought directly from Embraer, with the remainder being acquired from lessor Azorra. The first two aircraft should arrive by the end of this year. They form part of an expansion program that will see the fleet grow from 27 aircraft today to more than 40 in the next few years.

The carrier has ordered batches of Boeing 787s, Airbus A32neo-family aircraft, together with the Embraers, in the past year. “It’s all a question of replacement and growth,” Majali said. “For every two aircraft that come in, one goes out. The eight Embraers we’ve contracted for will replace the old four.”

The ability of the Brazilian jet to fill a niche for the Jordanian flag-carrier means that further orders may be forthcoming: “We’re thinking about two more Embraers later on.”

Royal Jordanian’s relatively small fleet means that having three aircraft types is a complication, Majali admitted, but “the upside [of having the Embraers] is the ability to be able to raise frequency. On a trip-mile cost basis, a smaller aircraft is cheaper to operate.

“For example, for Erbil [in Iraq] instead of having four A320 flights a week, we can fly daily with the E190, so that provides a better service. That’s a big product advantage for us.

“This aircraft also allows us to test new routes…with the cheapest aircraft available.” The range of the Embraers is such that they can also be used on European routes if required.

Alan Dron

Based in London, Alan is Europe & Middle East correspondent at Air Transport World.