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IFC Studying a Proposed Privatization of Royal Jordanian Airlines


Moazzam Mekan
Phone: + (011) 971 (4) 332 97 57

Email:
MMmekan@ifc.org

Sarah McCarthy

Phone: +(011) 971 (4) 332 6757
E-mail:
SMccarthy@ifc.org


Amman, November 4, 2005 The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has been appointed by the Executive Privatization Committee of the Jordanian government to conduct a feasibility study to determine the viability of privatizing Royal Jordanian Airlines. The study will be undertaken by IFC’s technical assistance facility that supports private sector development in the Middle East and North Africa, PEP-MENA.

Royal Jordanian Airlines began operations in 1963, flying three international routes with a limited number of aircraft. Today, Royal Jordanian, with its hub at Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, serves more than 50 cities in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, North America, and Asia. Its fleet comprises 17 Airbus jets, including four A340s, with 10 additional Airbus jets on order for delivery in 2006.

The Jordanian government, in an effort to increase the capacity of the country’s tourism industry, is developing its airport and airline infrastructure. IFC is expected to gauge the investment potential of the sector and identify conditions for a successful privatization of Royal Jordanian Airlines. The government will base its decision about the privatization process on the outcome of the feasibility study.

Moh'd Abu Hammour, Chairman of the Executive Privatization Committee, stated, “Royal Jordanian has made progress, but there is a strong role for the private sector to play in helping it compete in the international aviation sector and improve service to travelers.  Strengthening the airline is essential to developing Jordan’s tourism industry.”

Mr. Jesper Kjaer, IFC’s General Manager for PEP-MENA, noted that “The development of Royal Jordanian Airlines will provide a solid foundation for Jordan to compete in the global market.  It will  increase air transport links, which are essential for commercial trade.”

PEP-MENA is IFC’s technical assistance facility that supports private sector development in the Middle East and North Africa. PEP-MENA focuses on improving the business-enabling and regulatory environment in the region; strengthening the financial sector; promoting the growth of small and medium enterprises and their support services, such as business organizations and consulting firms; helping restructure and privatize state-owned enterprises; and developing viable private sector and public-private partnership projects, especially in infrastructure.

The International Finance Corporation is the private sector arm of the World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, D.C.  IFC coordinates its activities with the other institutions of the World Bank Group but is legally and financially independent.  Its 178 member countries provide its share capital and collectively determine its policies.

The mission of IFC is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing and transition countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through FY05, IFC has committed more than $49 billion of its own funds and arranged $24 billion in syndications for 3,319 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY05 was $19.3 billion for its own account and $5.3 billion held for participants in loan syndications.  For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.