Royal Air Maroc (RAM) has set up an austerity plan to deal with the repercussions of the crisis linked to the coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19), Tourism Minister Nadia Fettah Alaoui said on Monday.
Responding to a central question during the oral questions session in the House of Representatives, Fettah Alaoui underlined that “the national company RAM has established an austerity plan accompanied by a panoply of measures to combat the fallout from the crisis. We are currently developing a recovery plan based on demand analysis and preventive measures for passengers and employees.”
Citing a report by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the government official said that airline revenues are expected to drop by about $ 252 billion and that the aeronautics industry will see its potential decrease by more than 30% this year. In the case of Morocco, she added, the report shows a reduction in air traffic of around 5 million passengers, with the resulting risks in terms of financial losses and job losses in the sector.
She also said the company has maintained a number of planes in service, including cargo planes that have flown dozens of flights in recent weeks to China and South Korea to transport equipment and supplies of medical material.
The company also operates flights to import and export thousands of tonnes of consumer products to Morocco or African countries to promote the national and African economy, noted Nadia Fettah. The airlines, she said, are called upon to provide technical maintenance and control of their aircraft on the ground so that they are ready to take off as soon as air traffic resumes.
Regarding airports, the Minister indicated that, since the announcement of the first cases of Covid-19 infection, the National Airports Office (ONDA) has worked in close coordination with the various stakeholders to take health measures and organizational measures necessary to deal with the repercussions of the coronavirus before the declaration of the disease as a global pandemic by the WHO.
During the period of sanitary confinement marked by the closure of national air space, she continued, the Agency continued to disinfect the various airport facilities that have not ceased their activities related to air cargo and reception various goods and medical equipment used by the Ministry of Health, in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
ONDA, in accordance with the State’s guidelines for support to economic and commercial units, provided facilities to all its partners, including the postponement of the payment of invoices for three months and additional delays for partners for the implementation of agreements with the Agency, in addition to the cancellation or reduction of financial obligations for the benefit of business units operating at airports, she added.
As part of the return to work and the opening of air space, Ms. Fettah Alaoui noted that the department is working on the development of a series of recommendations aimed at ensuring appropriate working conditions for air operations, protect passengers and users and generally protect the safety and security of civil aviation. It is a question, she said, of gradually resuming air transport activities and granting the necessary facilities to service providers at airports.