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Royal Jordanian

Royal Jordanian started operations in 1963 after a decree by His Royal Highness the late King Hussein. The airline was named Alia to honor the King's daughter.

Royal Jordanian Airbus A310-300
Royal Jordanian Airbus A310-300

Alia Jordanian Airlines started with only a handful of airplanes and three international routes, to Kuwait City, Beirut and Cairo. Jordan is a small country so the airline has had to concentrate mostly on international services. 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 F27 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. 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 Hispanic city on Alia's system. Copenhagen and Karachi were also added.

The rest of the decade saw Boeing 720's Boeing 727's and Boeing 747's added. In 1975 Alia made history by allowing the first Arab female plane crew member into one of Alias cockpits.

A catering department was established, as well as duty free shops in Amman's airport.

Services were added to several other cities, including:Bahrain, Dubai, Muscat, Rabat, Geneva, Amsterdam, Baghdad, Bangkok, Vienna, Larnaca, Damascus, New York City, 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. 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 changed its name to Royal Jordanian. The airline's first woman pilot flew one of their aircraft 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 continue. 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 were added to the route network. Royal Jordanian became code sharing partners with TWA and a local subsidiary, Royal Wings , started Royal Jordanian's only domestic service, to Aqaba, using a Fokker F-27 plane.

In 2000 the FAA renewed the airlines 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.

The airline uses the IATA designator RJ.

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Last updated: 10-24-2004 05:10:45