I think everyone in the Middle East aviation sector was surprised when Stefan Pichler confirmed on Thursday that he had stepped down from his role as CEO of Royal Jordanian. His retirement is a loss for the regional aviation scene as a whole but for Jordan’s flag carrier the move will be sorely felt. Under Pichler, Royal Jordanian returned to the black in 2019 for the first time in years, securing JD10.4 million ($14.7m) in net profits after tax, compared to a JD5.9m ($8.5m) net loss in 2018. Operating profits increased 174 percent between 2018 and 2019 thanks to a low-cost, high-revenue strategy that combined the best elements of the budget and legacy airline models. Then, of course, the Covid-19 pandemic hit. In Q1 2020 alone the carrier incurred a JD25.5m ($36m) ...read more...