Morocco announces $621m stimulus package to national carrier

Morocco will allocate $621 million to its national carrier Royal Air Maroc whose activities have taken the brunt of the covid-19 pandemic, Finance Minister Mohamed Benchaâboun told lawmakers Monday.

The package comes as the airline is set to resume international flights from July 15, for special destinations. The airline will fly out Moroccan nationals living abroad and their families, expats residing in the kingdom and their families, Moroccan students studying abroad, business operators as well as Moroccan citizens seeking medical treatment abroad.

It will also operate return flights to the kingdom for Moroccans stranded abroad and expats living in the kingdom.
The airline grounded most of its fleet mid-March as part of measure to curb the spread of the covid-19 pandemic. It only ran cargo flights and repatriation operations.

The government’s support will also enable the carrier to mitigate losses incurred as results of the pandemic. Last month the airline said it has been losing $109.1 million per month since the start of the state of emergency on March 20.

In addition, RAM is contemplating a mass layoff plan as part of a strategy to survive the economic repercussions of the COVID-19 crisis.

The recovery plan was presented to the parliament in June by Minister of Tourism Nadia Fettah El Alaoui who argued that the plan is aligned with International Air Transport Association (IATA) forecasts.

IATA recently called on governments in the MENA region to provide lifeline to national carriers to survive job losses and revenues over decline in the international travel industry.

About Geraldine Boechat 2631 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia