During the first months of the COVID-19-induced lockdown, Morocco restricted most inter-city travel.
Rabat – Morocco’s highway traffic dropped by 32% during the first half of 2020 due to the state of emergency and COVID-19-induced lockdown.
Autoroutes du Maroc (ADM), the company that manages Morocco’s highways, announced that the COVID-19 movement restriction measures had a “direct impact on motorway traffic and consequently on ADM’s revenue and cash flow.”
The company said that the first half of 2020 ended with a decline of 32% in traffic. It also saw 29% less in toll revenues, representing a loss of turnover of MAD 437 million ($47 million) at the end of June 2020 against the same period of 2019.
ADM described the “unprecedented and unpredictable situation” as the source of pressure against its cash flow.
The crisis urged the company to implement a plan to rationalize and prioritize expenses, focusing on “reducing the budget of current expenses mainly related to the activity of operation.”
The plan also seeks to reprogram its investments linked to the construction of highway infrastructure, while maintaining priority projects.
ADM reprogrammed the annual investment and operating budget with a total revision of MAD 942 million ($102 million), which “will make it possible to anticipate the impact of the health crisis over the rest of 2020.”
The company also shared positive feedback, saying that it quickly put in place a system to ensure the continuity of public service in line with safety and quality standards. It was able to support its ecosystem through the crisis despite the “drastic drop.”
The highway company said that it will spare no efforts to ensure the best conditions of “safety and quality of service to the user.”
The company also vowed to “do everything possible to get out of this crisis as quickly as possible to guarantee the continuity of its development plan.”
During the first months of lockdown, which started in March, Morocco suspended all international sea, land, and air travel to limit the spread of COVID-19.
The country also largely suspended inter-city traffic and placed strict movement restrictions on citizens, meaning Morocco’s highways saw particularly low levels of use during the same period.
Only the traffic of goods remained fully operational until Morocco decided to ease its lockdown to revive its economy, which suffered a crisis due to the pandemic.