Moroccan govt injects US$626m into Royal Air Maroc to help carrier resume air operaions

Royal Air Maroc

MOROCCO – The Moroccan government has allocated MAD 6 billion ( About US$625 million) to support Morocco’s national carrier, Royal Air Maroc (RAM) resume operations that had been suspended due to the COVID-19 virus.

The government allocation to the national carrier was made public by Morocco’s Minister of Economy Mohamed Benchaaboun during a parliamentary session at the House of Representatives early this month.

The financial aid, according to a report by Morocco World News,  will be part of a budget allocated specifically to support the Moroccan public enterprises hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis.

In addition to RAM, Benchaaboun announced that the National Electricity and Drinking Water Office (ONEE) will benefit from an emergency aid package of MAD 1 billion ($104.1 million).

Royal Air Maroc, the Maghreb country’s flag carrier is the Moroccan public enterprise that suffered the highest financial losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In June this year, Morocco’s Directorate of Public Enterprises and Privatization (DEPP) revealed that RAM lost MAD 1.05 billion ($109.1 million) every month since the start of the pandemic.

During the same month, the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) released a new analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on the airline industry in Africa which revealed an estimated revenue loss of USD 8.103 billion for African airlines for the year 2020.

To mitigate some of its losses, the Royal Air Maroc laid off 30% of its global workforce, set up a redundancy plan for its staff above 57 years old, and liquidated 20 of its planes.

The state-funded support is expected to alleviate RAM’s financial situation, especially as the company is preparing to relaunch commercial international flights in July.

Following the Moroccan government’s decision to reopen its international borders for Moroccan citizens and residents, as well as their families, the airline announced it will serve 23 international destinations.

The destinations include 13 European cities, five cities in the MENA region, three sub-Saharan African urban centers, and two cities in North America.

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