Royal Jordanian asks Boeing to help pay for A340 upgrades

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Royal Jordanian is asking Boeing to assist with the cost of upgrading the cabins on the airline's fleet of Airbus A340s, which must remain in service for at least three years longer than planned due to 787 delivery delays.

The publicly-listed Jordanian flag-carrier has decided to spend approximately $16 million to equip its four A340s with in-seat, on-demand inflight entertainment systems by October 2010, so that the aircraft "can live with us for another four years and still be competitive", says Royal Jordanian chief executive Hussein Dabbas.

Asked whether the carrier is looking to Boeing to contribute towards the cost of the upgrades by way of compensation for the 787 delays, Dabbas says: "We are talking to them, but nothing is confirmed yet."

Royal Jordanian had been scheduled to receive the first of up to 12 787s in 2010, but deliveries have been pushed back by around three years and will not now commence until 2013.

According the Dabbas, the new A340 IFE systems will be installed by Joramco, in which Royal Jordanian owns a 20% stake. The new seats will be supplied by Sicma, a subsidiary of France's Zodiac Aerospace.

Meanwhile, Dabbas says the airline continues to study a possible interim replacement of its three 20-year-old A310 widebody twinjets with A330s or 777s.

"We haven't made up our mind - it's an option that we are reviewing," says Dabbas.