Some local news reports indicated that the flag carrier will abandon some of its forces due to the economic crisis.
Minister of Tourism Nadia Fettah El Alaoui discussed the flag carrier’s strategy to mitigate the repercussions of the crisis during a session of the House of Representatives on June 8.
“The national company RAM has drawn up an austerity plan with a range of measures to combat the fallout from the crisis. We are currently developing a recovery plan based on an analysis of demand and preventive measures for passengers and employees,” she announced.
El Alaoui said the company has maintained a number of aircraft in service, including cargo services. The airline sent several flights to various countries, including China and South Korea, to transport to Morocco equipment and medical supplies needed to mitigate the COVID-19 crisis.
RAM operates flights to import and export thousands of tons of consumer products to Morocco and other African countries to promote the national and African economy, the tourism minister added.
El Alaoui also examined the National Airports Authority’s (ONDA) activities.
She said since the first announcement of COVID-19 infections, ONDA worked in close coordination with various stakeholders to “take the necessary health and organizational measures to deal with the repercussions of the coronavirus before the disease was declared a global pandemic by the [World Health Organization].”
The minister added that ONDA routinely disinfects all airport facilities that have not ceased their air cargo activities and has continued to receive various goods and medical equipment used by the Ministry of Health.
Staggering losses spell an uncertain future
Despite RAM’s continued activities during the crisis, the global aviation industry faces an uncertain future.
El Alaoui quoted a report from the International Air Transport Association, emphasizing that global airline revenues are set to fall by approximately $252 billion and that the aviation industry will see a potential shrink of more than 30% in 2020.
The study underlined the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Morocco’s aviation industry, showing a reduction in air traffic of approximately five million passengers, “with the consequent risks in terms of financial and job losses in the sector.”
In recent statements, the flag carrier said it loses more than MAD 50 million ($5 million) per day due to the pandemic.
“We are 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,” said the airline’s CEO Abdelhamid Addou.
Addou said RAM’s recovery plan will require a clear strategy based on the forecasts of the International Air Transport Association.
Moroccan media have reported that the government will lay off RAM employees as part of its damage control, but El Alaoui did not touch on the allegations during Monday’s parliamentary session.