Royal Jordanian Rehires Veteran CEO Samer Majali as Chief

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Royal Jordanian Airlines named Samer Majali as its chief executive officer, bringing back an industry veteran who ran the carrier more than a decade ago.

Majali, who is 63 and holds dual British and Jordanian citizenship, was appointed CEO and vice chairman as of March 30, the Amman-based company said in a statement Wednesday. Bloomberg reported on the news earlier.

Like carriers worldwide, Royal Jordanian has been hammered by lockdowns and travel curbs triggered by coronavirus crisis, posting a loss of 107 million dinars ($151 million) in the first nine months of 2020. Former CEO Stefan Pichler, who once ran Air Berlin Plc, resigned at the end of September after three years in the post that saw him revive earnings prior to the pandemic.

Majali last led Royal Jordanian between 2001 and 2009 after more than 10 years there in other roles. His tenure saw the airline become the first in the Middle East to join a global alliance after enlisting with British Airways and American Airlines-led Oneworld.

The returning executive is widely credited with Royal Jordanian’s growth and expansion in the region, the carrier said in its statement. On his departure he became CEO of Bahrain’s Gulf Air and later ran startup SaudiGulf Airlines until 2019, before founding consultants Plane Vision.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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