Wednesday, June 26, 2013

► KENYA: Royal Air Maroc to tap into Kenyan market before year end.

Royal Air Maroc RAMRoyal Air Maroc (AT) has once more announced plans to begin flights between Casablanca and Nairobi, Kenya. In a statement made in Nairobi at the signing of various bilateral trade agreements between Morocco and Kenya, Moroccan Minister for Industry and Trade, Mr Abdelkader Amara, said RAM would introduce direct flights to Nairobi "by the end of the year."

Royal Air Maroc 787-8
Royal Air Maroc 787-8 (Boeing)
While diplomatically the flights are seen as a means of "deepening trade between the two countries" - a misnomer given that the volume of trade between the two countries fell 80 per cent last year -  the move is likely pre-emptive on Royal Air Maroc's part as it seeks to tap into the lucrative US-Kenya/Tanzanian tourist market ahead of Kenya Airways (KQ). 

With the delivery of their first 777-300ER and 787-8 due in Q4 2013 and Q1 2014 respectively, Kenya Airways will be eager to extend its network to the US as soon as possible, though the launch of any such service is dependant on the Kenyan Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) getting its act together and acquiring "Category One" security status from the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA).

Currently, Royal Air Maroc's most eastern Central African destinations served include Bangui, Kinshasa and Luanda.