Friday, June 21, 2013

Royal Air Maroc Set To Expand With New Aircraft

According to reports carried by Reuters, MAP and other agencies the Moroccan national airline, Royal Air Maroc (RAM) is in the market to buy up to twenty and thirty new-generation planes, including fifteen medium-haul and five long-haul jets

Driss Benhima, the RAM CEO says that he would like to purchase the aircraft "as soon as possible".

Royal Air Maroc's fleet of about 44 medium and long-haul aircraft is becoming obsolete, at the same time as the airline has sought to develop Casablanca as a regional hub, connecting mostly poorly served west African capitals to Europe and North America.

"We wish to renew our fleet with the new-generation planes, and we need between 20 and 30 additional jets by 2020", RAM Chief Executive Driss Benhima told state news agency Map.

For long-haul, Benhima said he would be interested in the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which competes with Airbus 350 , as the aircraft burns 15 percent less fuel than the current generation.

He said the Airbus Neo and Boeing Max were attractive medium haul options while the C series of Bombardier or Embraer were also being considered.

"If we want to develop and protect our market share, we must think of buying new planes," the CEO said.

RAM is looking beyond the Euro crisis which hit tourism, its main source of revenue, to develop its business and take on competition from European airlines. Morocco signed an Open Skies agreement with the European Union in 2006 allowing new airline competitors, including low-budget carriers such as Ryanair and easyJet.

Benhima didn't give details for the company's financing plan. The company's operating profit was 718 million dirhams ($84.5 million) in 2012, the best result since the 1990.

Morocco, which has been thinking about reducing its stake in RAM for more than 20 years, led major efforts to restructure the group last year in a move that tourism operators said was a sign the state was preparing for a sale.

But the transport minister Abdelaziz Rebbah has said he would rather pursue a strategic partnership with an airline from one of the Gulf states or beyond, than sell a stake in its flag carrier.

Regular travellers will also be hoping that inflight service will be upgraded to match the new aircraft as onboard refreshments have lately been widely criticised as being way below international standards.  "A stale bread sandwich is not an inflight meal," according to one recent passenger.

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pema said...

Dead right re the in flight catering. Abysmal -- the worst I have ever experienced. Done on the cheap. Only alcohol available is red or white wine. Meals are tiny, tasteless and usually tepid.

Anonymous said...

New planes arent everything-
professional, experienced and friendly personal is probably even more important.
I had the worst experience in my life with the RAM Callcenter in Germany. They really dont know that their behavior is responsible for the Image of the Airline - or they dont care.