The CEO of RAM said the company is going through the worst crisis in its history.
Like any other airline across the world, Morocco’s flag carrier said that its efforts to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 were not able to help reduce the impact of the economic crisis.
In the letter, RAM CEO Abdelhamid Addou warned that the crisis is costing the company MAD 50 million ($5 million) per day.
The letter, quoted by Moroccan television channel 2M, said the company will need a minimum period of 36 months to recover from the crisis.
“This recovery will require a clear plan, based on forecasts published by IATA [the International Air Transport Association] as well as global consultancy firms. They will assess demand over the next few years on the basis of various assumptions, for lack of concrete visibility,” the CEO’s letter reads.
Addou acknowledged that the airline experienced a significant drop in traffic, describing it as “brutal.”
In the letter, the CEO recalled that the COVID-19 crisis will see airline passenger revenues drop by $314 billion in 2020, a 55% decline compared to 2019.
He explained that the crisis imposes a threat to 25 million jobs in the sector worldwide.
He said that traffic marked a decrease of 60% in March and 100% in April compared to the same period in 2019.
“We are therefore going through the worst crisis in our history, a world crisis of a magnitude never known by our generation, much more violent than 2001 or 2009,” the CEO warned.
He expressed his belief that the crisis will further extend its impact on the airline and the industry at large.
“This will be long, painful and will call each of us to be discerning and [show] self-denial in favor of the common interest and the preservation of jobs, with short-termist considerations. This is the only way that will allow us to get through this difficult ordeal, with the least possible damage,” he said.
RAM requests government intervention
Addou explained that the crisis means RAM will require material support to restart its activity.
The CEO explained that the company has been in negotiations and discussions with the government since the start of the COVID-19 crisis.
“We are working closely with several members of the government to prepare a draft recovery plan capable of guaranteeing the sustainability of our business in the long term,” he said.
The RAM official explained that the company tabled several scenarios to overcome the challenges.
“The management will be approved by the shareholders, able to guarantee their support,” the letter explained.
The company will then arrange consultations with its social partners to finalize the recovery plan in favor of its employees.
“We will seek to preserve employment as much as possible while guaranteeing the financial sustainability of the company, and do this in a very aggressive competitive environment, between European low costs and African airlines, faced with a demand in strong decline,” the letter concluded.