LCI TV journalist Pascal Perri and his guest urged the French government to put diplomatic pressure on Morocco for a logical balance between RAM and Air France.
Rabat – French journalist Pascal Perri dedicated his latest “Perri Scope” television show, aired on LCI, to discuss the “secret war of the airlines,” accusing Royal Air Maroc of manipulating air routes between Casablanca and Paris with high prices amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The journalist hosted Xavier Tytelman, an expert in air transport, to discuss the resumption of air activities amid the crisis.
During the show, the host and his guest discussed Royal Air Maroc’s (RAM) recent “exceptional flights” schedule and high prices for a round trip flight between Casablanca and Paris.
“Some companies are taking advantage of the pandemic to impose certain protectionist measures,” Perri said.
RAM launched a special flights program at the request of the government to help Moroccans, foreign residents in Morocco, as well as their families to return home or go back to their countries.
The flights also concern Moroccans residing abroad, stranded tourists in Morocco, as well as students.
Perri and his guest mentioned that RAM’s flights between Paris and Rabat stand at €3,267, while flights between Casablanca-Paris are available at €1,044.
The numbers cited by the French expert and journalist contradict those mentioned in RAM’s prices for the special flights.
According to RAM’s price chart for the special flights, a round trip ticket for France-Morocco is available at MAD 5,500 (€500).
The initial prices were reportedly higher, during the process of determining them, before the release of the final prices.
RAM said the new prices have been released after a study that seeks to meet customers’ demand.
While the flights have been favorable to allow Moroccans and foreign residents reunite with their families again, the carrier’s prices have been a concern.
RAM’s new prices include round trip flights to and from Morocco with Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, which are also available at MAD 5,500 (€500).
Flights between Morocco and Germany and the UK are available at MAD 6,000 (€550), while flights to Turkey are MAD 6,500 (€595).
Perri claimed RAM’s prices are high because the government is trying to save the airlines from the economic crisis. He called on the French government to “defend Air France.”
“Something has to be done,” he said.
Perri’s guest believes France needs to put a “diplomatic pressure on Morocco” to reach an agreement with Morocco’s government to secure a “logical balance” between RAM and Air France.
“But do we want to start a diplomatic battle with Morocco? Are there agreements whose value we don’t know to tell us that RAM is even worse off than Air France and that it should be saved at all costs? We don’t understand this inaction towards Morocco,” Tytelman said.
French-language Moroccan news outlet Le 360 quoted diplomatic sources who commented on Perri’s remarks.
The sources believe that the remarks from Perri and Tytelman “raise many questions about the motivations of this French television channel and its sponsors.”
The remarks from Perri, according to the sources, are confused with the “attitude of French authorities who chosen Air France an Transavia to operate exclusively hundreds of flights as part of the repatriation of more than 50,000 passengers (French and Moroccan stranded in Morocco) at prices around 400 Euros [one way].”
An authorized source from RAM also commented on the remarks from the LCI host’s guest, stating that “it is easy to manipulate images and data to communicate completely incorrect information.”
The source explained that the show featured “some images (screenshots) showing a high amount of 2,000 or sometimes even 4,000 euros, suggesting that it refers to a single economic ticket. In fact [it] refers to a service of several tickets for business class. At no time are the recipients of the message explained the details of the service,” RAM’s source said.
RAM’s source explained that the tickets have been studied and capped to respond to customer demand.