Royal Air Maroc, Morocco’s national carrier, is set to launch a call for tenders to acquire new single-aisle and wide-body aircraft, as the airline aims to meet the growing demand for tourism and strengthen its position as a hub for sub-Saharan Africa. CEO Abdelhamid Addou revealed the airline’s plans during an interview at the Bloomberg New Economy Gateway Africa conference in Marrakesh.
With an eye on expanding its network, Royal Air Maroc intends to add “many new routes” primarily to Africa, Europe, and the Americas. The airline recognizes the potential of Morocco as a popular tourist destination and aims to tap into its appeal by becoming a more global airline. CEO Addou emphasized the importance of a larger fleet in achieving this goal, stating, “A larger fleet is essential to become a more global airline and take advantage of Morocco’s status as a big draw for tourists.” He also emphasized the need for African airlines to develop and harness the continent’s immense potential.
While many African carriers have faced financial and management challenges in recent years, Royal Air Maroc aims to bolster its operations and expand its reach. International airlines like Emirates, Qatar Airways, and Turkish Airlines have taken advantage of the void left by struggling African carriers, and Royal Air Maroc seeks to establish a stronger presence in the market.
To fund the aircraft acquisitions, Royal Air Maroc plans to raise debt, although the specific financing details, have not been disclosed. The airline currently operates a fleet of around 50 aircraft, primarily comprised of Boeing models. The fleet includes 26 Boeing 737-800s, two 737 MAX 8s, a 767-300F, five 787-8s, four 787-9 Dreamliners, as well as Embraer 190s and ATR 72-600s. CEO Addou also expressed the airline’s vision to transform Casablanca-Mohammed V Airport into a larger transit hub for sub-Saharan Africa.
Royal Air Maroc has already made noteworthy developments, including the upcoming deployment of an Airbus A330-200 leased from Air Belgium, which will operate on routes between Casablanca and Paris as well as Istanbul.
Featured image: William Derrickson