Rabat - Royal Air Maroc (RAM) pilots’ protests have caused massive losses to the company’s finances of an estimated MAD 20 million each day, according to L’Economiste.
Rabat – Royal Air Maroc (RAM) pilots’ protests have caused massive losses to the company’s finances of an estimated MAD 20 million each day, according to L’Economiste.
The trouble began on July 18 when the national union of pilots called for a general strike, demanding better working conditions, improved salaries, and more decent treatment, especially regarding retirement terms and health coverage.
While RAM’s management was confident that it would find an accommodation with its pilots early on, and things would return to normal in less than a week, the strike has caused unprecedented financial losses, almost paralyzing RAM’s activities.
“Since July 18, everything at the company is now upside down,” one worker was quoted as saying.
According to L’Economiste, the protests have become unbearable for RAM management, with some executive officers complaining that the company feels increasingly “compelled to cancel the vast majority of its flights.” Since July 18, approximately 80 flights have been called off, forcing the company to compensate more than 12,000 passengers.
But financial compensations is not the only burden on RAM’s already-suffering budget. Extra burdens for the company include hotel and restaurant costs for cancelled night flights, negotiations with other airlines to make up for RAM flights’ unavailability, and maintenance costs for otherwise inoperative carriers.
As projections of future losses are far more significant than the current level, RAM has expressed a willingness to negotiate. On Wednesday, July 25, the company’s CEO Abdelhamid Abdou met members of the company’s executive board and pilots’ representatives to find an agreement and salvage the company’s assets and reputation for the remaining month of the summer period.
But while there is hope that an agreement will be reached in coming days, there is apprehension as to whether it will be a temporary or final resolution. According to L’Economiste, RAM’s dream of enlarging its fleet would be greatly jeopardized should the company’s management comply with pilots’ current salary demands.
Meanwhile, with August (the most profitable month in the summer period) around the corner and an estimated 32,000 Moroccans preparing for pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the company is under intense pressure to find a crisis recovery plan.