- by Haneen Nofal
- in Latest News
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AMMAN — For the first time since 2007, Royal Jordanian (RJ) registered JD3.4 million profit from continuing operations in the first half of 2019 against JD11.1 million loss for the same period in 2018 and a net profit of JD1.5 million, according to RJ CEO Stefan Pichler.
During a press conference held on Wednesday at RJ's headquarters, Pichler presented the airline's financial and operating results for the first half of 2019.
Pichler said the results show significantly improved key performance indicators and a growth in the gross profit and net operating profit, progress achieved because of the measures taken as stipulated in the turnaround plan that the company has been implementing since the second half of 2017.
The CEO said that in the first six months of 2019, RJ flights saw a 1 per cent increase in the number of passengers, compared to the same period of 2018, and a seat load factor that grew from 72.8 per cent during the same period last year to 73.1 per cent.
Pichler also said that the company's operating revenues grew from JD312.1 million in the first half of 2018 to JD316.3 million in the comparison period of this year, recording a 1 per cent increase.
The company was also able to reduce operating costs by 5 per cent, going down from JD277.4 million in the first half of last year to JD264 million in the same period of 2019.
He pointed out that the increase in revenues, and the lower costs and 5 per cent lower fuel bill led to registering JD3.4 million profit from continuing operations against JD11.1 million loss for the comparison period. RJ also recorded a JD52.2 million gross profit against JD34.8 million in the first half of 2018, recording a 50 per cent increase.
Thus, the airline registered a JD1.5 million net profit after tax in the first half of this year, against a net loss of JD12.7 million in the same period of last year.
"The improved results are thanks to the hard work and dedication of all employees who endeavoured to reduce expenses and improve revenues, and to the company's enticing offers throughout the year, which proved attractive to travellers," he said.
RJ staff also strove to improve ground and air services, enhance online sales of tickets and various other products and travel extras offered to travellers by RJ, he said, adding that there are also improved services in air freight and incentives to members of the frequent flyer programme.
Online sales grew from JD39.8 million in the first half of 2018 to JD40.2 million in the same period this year.
Moreover, sales of travel extras increased by 17 per cent, from JD8.5 million to JD10 million, and the revenue of the loyalty programme grew by 44 per cent, whereas the Cost per Available Seat-Kilometre (CASK) decreased by 3 per cent, according to the CEO.
Pichler said that the company currently witnesses high demand on travel aboard RJ flights during the summer season, which is why the airline is operating hundreds of extra flights in the busy months of summer.
In conclusion, the CEO voiced his optimism that RJ will end 2019 with net profits and will further enhance its competitive position.