The message delivered by RAM’s CEO was right to the point and it is now up to the El Othmani’s government to act before it is too late. In his speech, Royal Air Maroc CEO, Abdelhamid Addou, stressed to Morocco’s governmental body that the Moroccan airliner faces a number of competitors from foreign firms such as Turkish Airlines, Air Algérie and Ethiopian Airlines, especially in Africa.
“Do you want our beautiful mare to feed on hay and race with bearded horses?”, Addou said, in reference to the colossal financial means and the state support available to the Turkish, Algerian and Ethiopian aircraft manufacturers.
This debate took place in the presence of the Minister of Tourism, Mohamed Sajid, during a parliamentary session, Tuesday, May 21, under the theme: “Strategic depth and governance: RAM for a model” .
Mr. Addou gave his presentation and answered questions raised by MPs using didactic tools in order to share his vision while drawing the attention of Executives in regards to 2016 program.
“RAM must face the challenges and risks that competition might bring upon it, especially from Turkish, Algerian and Ethiopian companies”, said Mr. Addou, with the hope that his message will be well perceived by the government as well as the Public.
During his intervention, Addou stated that it is difficult to compete with a company such as Turkish Airlines, for the latter operates in Africa via 52 lines, while RAM covers 32 only. By the year 2023, the Turkish Airlines will have 500 aircrafts instead of 331, given the pace of investments in progress, he adds.
These achievements were made possible thanks to the strong support provided by Erdogan’s government and the tax exemptions to which Turkish Airlines is beneficiary.
Despite RAM’s positive indicators in 2018 and the fact that its turnover rose to more than 17 billion dirhams, which is 15% higher than 2017, the Moroccan airliner is still incapable of keeping up with today’s pace.
+ Government’s radio silence +
RAM urgently needs long-term support including a program-contract to improve its performance and cope with competitors everywhere, including Arab and African destinations, Addou said.
However, after the completion of the first program contract linking the Moroccan airliner to the State, RAM is still not fixed on its new development plan which had been submitted to the government to come into force at the end of 2026, for executives had been on “radio silence” mode all along.
It is noteworthy that the 2011-2016 program-contract’s budget was estimated at 1.6 billion dirhams, mainly used for the recapitalization of the company and other drastic recovery plans. Making a one billion dirhams economy-challenge each year throughout the duration of the contract was the rigor imposed by the state.
Since 2012, the company has continued to meet the challenges despite the difficult international economic conditions and the ruthless competition from foreign airlines, yet it seems like the government led by PJD Islamists has “bigger fish to fry”.