Royal2: Royal Jordanian's new Queen of the Fleet touches down in Zurich; a look behind the scenes.
Royal Jordanian Airlines made good use of the fact that a large group of Umrah pilgrims returned from Mecca via its Amman hub to Switzerland today. Instead of using one of their Airbus narrowbodies which usually ply this route, they sent their brand-new Boeing 787 “Dreamliner”. Here it is seen vacating Zurich’s Runway 14 after its 3h 50min flight from Amman.
The fire brigade didn’t want to pass up on celebrating this stunning visitor!
Only having been delivered two weeks prior, the aircraft had already been spotless when it arrived, Still, it seemed to thoroughly enjoy the shower.
It then headed south to dock at Zurich’s recently rebuilt Terminal 2
Here we caught up with it again, and observed it basking in the warm autumn sunshine
After the cleaning crew had performed its magic, we were allowed to have a quick look around the new Jordanian flagship. The first impression was one of ample space, lots of light, and good design. Wow! I have already travelled in many an airplane (also 787s), but this design completely blew me away. Entering via door 2L, I didn’t bump into a massive galley and didn’t have to squeeze through small alleyways on its sides. Instead, there was a simple bar and reception area (almost like in a hotel), which even featured a wooden (or laminate) floor creating an instant, homey feel! Turning to the front, the airy and roomy Business Class awaited:
Royal Jordanian selected a very airy design, which is especially evident in its business class. As one of the first carriers they opted for the large, cavernous entrance that Boeing designers initially had in mind for the entire 787 production. The missing central overhead bins in the last few rows of business class, plus the modern design really create a sense of immense space and height, like I’ve never experienced it on an airplane before!
Since Business passengers remained on board (who could blame them), I didn’t want to bother them too long. But if you want to have a cleaner look at this 787’s new pride, head over to TheDesignAir for some striking images! http://www.thedesignair.net/2014/09/04/royal-jordanians-787-offers-understated-luxury/
I did however have a quick look at some of the business seats, and they too seemed well-designed, modern and quite spacious. Of course they can be converted to full-flat beds. The red accents are a nice feature, too!
While being up there anyway, I couldn’t resist having a quick glimpse at the cockpit, with its four large flight displays, and a fifth one in the center pedestal used to display the two FMSs (which look a bit like having been stolen from a very early Microsoft Flight Simulator version to be honest). Zooming in reveals that 9.2 tons are in the tanks, and the plane approached with a speed of 142 knots. The route to Geneva has already been entered into the FMCs and totals at 166 nautical miles or just shy of 310km.
After the front part, let’s go to Economy Class. Of course, this will just by design always evoke a certain sense of too many people crammed into too little space. However, I do like RJA’s version of it, with the slim grey seats, the ample headroom (leaving space to breathe…) and the design touch of the odd red seats, spread seemingly randomly across the cabin, breaking up the endless rows.
Let’s head outside again, where catering is complete and the aircraft is getting ready to head on to Geneva
But not without two last good looks at the front section – and while I don’t find it particularly beautiful, the nose design sure looks very futuristic!
Alpha Bravo turning into a giant mirror – while I adore Jordanian’s paintscheme, it remains a real pain to photograph and edit, especially in such conditions :-)
That’s why I quickly switched to more familiar (and better lit) grounds to catch the beauty’s departure from Zurich. Here she is seen taxiing beneath the iconic tower on her way to Runway 28
At exactly 12:34 local time, she graciously takes to the skies…
…and bids farewell to the well-known Zurich regulars docked at Terminal E. See you again soon please – hopefully from inside again, too! This cabin really made we want to go flying!
Special thanks go out to Martial S., to Royal Jordanian Airlines and especially their Sales Promoter in Switzerland, as well as to the Aviation Marketing Team of Zurich Airport.