Royal Air Maroc loses MAD 50 million per day. These are the daily losses of the national company in terms of turnover.
“We are going through the worst crisis in our history,” said CEO Abdelhamid Addou in a letter dated May 12 and addressed to all employees. Another announcement from management, the company recorded respective reductions in traffic of 60 and 100% between March and April last.
“We are going through the worst crisis in our history,” regrets the CEO. Even more, the recovery is not for now. It will be done over time over a period of 36 months, before returning to a normal situation comparable to that of 2019. By then, the road will be long and full of turbulence, especially in terms of contraction in traffic, demand and funding. In the meantime, a recovery plan is in negotiations with the public authorities.
According to management, discussions have been ongoing with the state since the start of the crisis. “We are working with several members of the government to prepare a draft recovery plan that can guarantee the long-term sustainability of the business.” Several scenarios are under study, confirms management. Whatever it is, the chosen scenario will be submitted to shareholders and social partners for approval and validation.
It must be said that this long-awaited outing was generally very well received by a good part of the staff. Even if the exit from management took a long time, it has the merit of being part of a logic of transparency and sincerity while explaining the issues for the company and the staff, testify executives. And to add: “It is reassuring in a context of loss of bearings and visibility”.
At the same time, the letter of the number 1 of the RAM passes several watermark messages. It requires significant sacrifices, austerity, efforts and the solidarity of all of the company’s resources. “We have to change the way we work, review our costs and fixed costs in a strong and sustainable way to be more competitive and agile,” insists the CEO.
The situation is serious! The survival of the company is at stake. In this precise context, management calls on all employees to exercise discernment: “we will have to put all demagoguery aside” and above all “keep a cool head … with the necessary humility” in such circumstances. The challenge is to get out of the crisis by preserving jobs and ensuring the sustainability of the RAM business.
“The crisis will be long and painful … It calls on each of us to be selfless and discerning to favor the common interest, preserve jobs and the financial sustainability of the company,” said the boss.
In comparison, Air France-KLM reports a loss of 1.8 billion euros in the 1st quarter. The operating loss reached 560 million euros in March alone. To cope with the crisis, Air France-KLM reduced its investments and undertook cost reductions estimated at 350 million euros per month in the 2nd quarter.
An agreement has been reached with the French government for a € 7 billion aid plan and a 90% guaranteed loan of € 4 billion. The Dutch government will also have to provide support that varies between 2 and 4 billion euros.
In the case of RAM, the recovery requires a strong mobilization of the Moroccan state, management and all the staff of the company. This is the national flag, a flag carrier and above all a question of sovereignty. This will also translate into sacrifices in terms of benefits, bonuses, compensation for employees of all categories.
According to forecasts by the IATA (International Air Transport Association), “no company in the world will be able to resist the sudden drop in traffic …” Indeed, IATA forecasts a 55% contraction in demand in 2020, with losses estimated at 314 billion dollars (worldwide), including 6 billion dollars in Africa. In addition, 25 million jobs are threatened in air transport worldwide.