The year 2022 is under “very good auspices”, as shown by both the air traffic recorded since the recovery and the traffic expected for the coming months, according to the National Office of Airports (ONDA).
Compared to 2019, the average recovery rate forecast of passenger traffic in Morocco’s airports is about 75%, the ONDA pointed out in a statement.
This rate would exceed 100% for several airports, including those of Tangier (104%), Nador (104%), Al Hoceima (106%), Oujda (108%), and Tetuan (537%), it said.
ONDA also said that Morocco’s airports welcomed 2,228,723 passengers traveling aboard 21,330 air flights, between February 7 (the first day when international flights resumed) and March 31.
In March alone, Moroccan airports recorded a commercial traffic volume of 1,452,030 passengers and 13,543 flights, i.e. a 70% recovery for passengers and 80% rate for airport movements, compared to the same month of 2019, the ONDA said.
During the same month, the Mohammed V Casablanca Airport received 565,484 passengers and 5,330 flights (+71% of the total passenger traffic and 75% of the airport’s activity recorded in March 2019).
The airports of the Northern and Eastern regions of the Kingdom have recorded the strongest progress, with recovery rates exceeding 100%. Out of the 26 airports open to air traffic, 17 airports have been served since the reopening of the sky.
With 170,735 passengers during March 2022, domestic air traffic has recorded a recovery rate of about 67% compared to the same period in 2019.
In March 2022, the air cargo activity recorded a recovery rate of 83% compared to the same period of 2019, totaling 6,796 tons against 8,221 tons in the same period in 2019.
Regarding connectivity, 48 new air connections will be created in the summer of 2022, the ONDA added.
This includes two additional flights at the Mohammed V airport, 12 flights at the airport of Marrakech, 11 flights at the Agadir Airport, and nine flights at the airport of Nador, besides 48 new air routes. These include connections between Casablanca and Manama (Bahrain) and Kuwait City; Tangier to Rome and London-Stansted; and Oujda to Barcelona and Seville in Spain and to Montpellier and Nantes in France.
In this connection, Morocco’s flag carrier RAM announced on Tuesday that it has strengthened its flight program for the 2022 summer season to better accompany the recovery of travel activity.
“The National Company will thus offer 6 million seats on 80 air routes across four continents. By restoring a large part of the air routes closed since the health crisis, and by opening new routes such as Tel Aviv and Dubai, Royal Air Maroc will recover nearly 90% of its 2019 network,” RAM said in a statement.
To facilitate the travel of its customers during the summer holidays, RAM will offer more than 2.2 million seats on the European continent which is home to a large community of Moroccan expatriate. Some 437 flights per week will connect 9 Moroccan airports to 32 airports in Europe, the statement said.
RAM will offer 900,000 seats to Africa with 110 flights per week, and will thus gradually recover the network it had on the continent before the Covid-19 crisis.
In North America, the carrier will offer nearly 500,000 seats, 6% more than the offer proposed in summer 2019. Some 35 weekly flights will link Casablanca to New York, Washington, Montreal and Miami.
In the Middle East, RAM will offer 200,000 seats, an increase of 25% compared to the summer 2019 offer.
In addition to Jeddah, Riyadh, Medina, Cairo and Tel Aviv (launched last March), the company will expand its network with the opening very soon of a new air route linking Casablanca to Dubai.
“As a member of the oneworld Alliance, we have put its extremely dense network of more than 1,000 destinations to work for the benefit of the tourism sector by strengthening connectivity between the main emitting markets and Moroccan destinations, thereby accelerating the recovery. We have therefore opened new tourist routes while increasing frequencies on the most important routes,” Chairman and CEO of RAM, Hamid Addou, was quoted in the statement as saying.