Royal Jordanian CEO in Talks About Strategic Airline Partnership

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(Bloomberg) -- Royal Jordanian Airlines said it’s in discussions about a strategic partnership with a larger carrier that could one day lead to an equity investment.

The talks aren’t yet limited to a single airline, Chief Executive Officer Stefan Pichler said Monday in an interview. Asked if he is seeking investment, Pichler said he takes the view that Royal Jordanian “will in the medium-long term be part of a consolidation that will take place in the Middle East.”

Royal Jordanian currently has basic code-share deals with a dozen carriers, mostly via the Oneworld grouping. One such ally, Qatar Airways, has shown the benefits of partnership by opening up a global network including several new destinations in Asia, Pichler said in Dubai.

Beyond Oneworld, Royal Jordanian has code-shares -- which allow for reciprocal ticket sales -- with major international operators including Etihad Airways of Abu Dhabi and Turkish Airlines, according to its website.

Royal Jordanian is separately finalizing plans to buy narrow-body aircraft, with the board set to approve an order for 18 planes later this month.

The company, whose fleet is currently based around the Airbus SE A320, has looked at the European plane together with models from Embraer SA and Boeing Co. and has reached a decision, according to Pichler, who declined to comment further before an order is sealed.

The latest version of the Boeing 737 plane is currently grounded and awaiting safety fixes following two fatal crashes in five months.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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