Royal Air Maroc
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- Aéroport de Casa-Anfa
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- Casablanca Mohammed V Airport
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- Brussels Airlines
Royal Air Maroc (RAM) is the national airline of Morocco and is majority government owned. The carrier is based at Mohammed V International Airport, Casablanca, and operates an extensive domestic and regional network within Morocco and Africa together with services to Europe, the Middle East and North America.
Location of Royal Air Maroc main hub (Casablanca Mohammed V Airport)
174 total articles
12 total articles
Tunisair, the national carrier of northern Africa’s smallest country, is implementing a recovery plan which includes expanding its network in Europe and to sub Saharan Africa with the addition of seven new routes since Oct-2012 as the state-owned carrier takes delivery of a fleet of new aircraft.
The flag carrier has struggled to cope with the effects of the 2011 Arab Spring political uprising which devastated the Tunisian tourism industry, requiring Tunisair to implement a crisis restructuring plan to reduce costs and expand its network with more efficient fleet – also possibly locating a strategic partner to recapitalise the airline.
Passenger numbers have rebounded strongly in 2012 and early 2013, but Tunisair continues to survive only under government protection which holds European LCC entry at bay.
Talks on a comprehensive air services agreement with the EU appear to have made little progress and the lack of an agreement is holding back the nation’s aviation sector as well as its tourism industry, a major economic driver.
Royal Air Maroc will open seven new routes over the next three months to Jun-2013 as the carrier takes delivery of new aircraft and brings others out of storage to cope with a surge in tourism demand.
State-owned RAM has announced it will launch services from its Casablanca base to London Gatwick, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Las Palmas, Praia, Zurich and Turin. The carrier also launched a three times weekly service from Casablanca to Madrid in Oct-2012.
The Moroccan flag carrier took delivery of two new Boeing 737-800s in Mar-2013, reportedly including its 50th 737 delivery, with another three to come in the second half of 2013 according to the CAPA Fleets database.
At the same time the clock is ticking for the carrier to find a strategic airline partner able to help it cope with mounting pressure from LCCs.
Europe’s largest low-cost carrier Ryanair will establish two bases in North African tourism hotspot Morocco in Apr-2013, just six months after the Irish-based carrier’s decision to cut 34 frequencies, including several routes entirely, in protest at rising costs at the country’s airports.
But in a major turnaround Ryanair will base two aircraft at Marrakech and another at Fes while also adding two new Moroccan airports at Essaouira and Rabat as it looks to grows its Morocco operations to 60 routes and eight airports, delivering up to 2.5 million passengers a year to the country.
The decision is in stark contrast to situation in Jun-2012 when Ryanair announced it would cancel 34 weekly flights, about 14% of its capacity, to and from Morocco, claiming ONDA, the state owned airports authority had “reneged on its agreement with the airline by imposing a new monopoly handling company on Ryanair which would have resulted in a massive increase in charges for the airline”.
The decision by Ryanair first to reduce capacity and now reinstate it offers a significant boost for Morocco’s struggling economy, heavily reliant on European tourism. But it will also put further pressure on state-owned Royal Air Maroc (RAM).
Europe’s largest no-frills carrier has unveiled plans to cut 34 weekly flights from its schedule to and from Morocco in a row over airport charges. The cut represents about 14% of its current capacity to/from Morocco and will result in Ryanair's capacity share in the Western Europe-Morocco market dropping 1 percentage point to about 16%. The new cut follows cuts implemented over the last nine months which have already reduced Ryanair’s share of capacity in the Western Europe-Morocco market by 4ppt from about 21% to 17%.
While relatively small in the broader Moroccan market, the new cuts are significant because Ryanair is the largest low-cost carrier in the country and is the second largest carrier in the key Morocco-Europe market. The dispute with Morocco’s state owned airports authority ONDA (Office National Des Aéroports) could potentially lead to further capacity cuts by Ryanair, leading to a potential drop in traffic at ONDA airports and impacting Morocco’s important tourism industry.
Regional unrest in North Africa and the onslaught of LCC competition has taken its toll on Morocco’s national carrier, Royal Air Maroc (RAM). Job cuts and privatisation are on the table to address reported weekly losses of up to MAD20 million (EUR2 million). The carrier is also fighting back with an extensive fleet renewal programme that will see it become the first B787 operator in Africa in 2012, after last month becoming the world's first operator of ATR 72-600s.
LCC start-ups dominated airline news this week. Air Canada revealed it is drawing up a business plan to launch an LCC in response to its fast-growing low-cost rivals such as WestJet, Porter Airlines, Air Transat and Sunwing in the Canadian market, according to reports.
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