Royal Jordanian weighs A340 revamp against interim 777 lease

Istanbul
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Royal Jordanian Airlines is considering whether to refurbish its four Airbus A340-200s or introduce replacement aircraft, possibly Boeing 777s, to provide interim lift following delays to its Boeing 787 deliveries.

The Amman-based carrier is awaiting proposals from Boeing ahead of deciding its best course of action.

But speaking to ATI at the IATA annual general meeting in Istanbul, Royal Jordanian chief executive Samer Majali said A340 modernisation was probably the “easier solution” to resolving the “kink” in its 787 plans.

The carrier had intended to use the 787s initially to replace the A340s and then, later, its A310-300s – the airline has recently refurbished its A310 cabins in order to retain the type.

But an upgrade to the A340 fleet, already about 15 years old, would become a reasonable option if their withdrawal was subsequently postponed until after the 787s had already started replacing the A310s.

Majali, the incoming IATA chairman, says the airline is “talking very strenuously” to Boeing, and adds the carrier is considering a potential alternative – to lease around five Boeing 777s to replace the A340s, and remove the twin-jets as the 787s come in.

Royal Jordanian is planning to acquire 12 787s through a mix of purchase and lease. It had originally expected to start receiving the jets in 2010 but warned in April that the first arrival could be 18-30 months behind schedule.

Source: Flightglobal.com's sister premium news site Air Transport Intelligence news