Tuesday, September 24, 2013

► MOROCCO: Royal Air Maroc to establish Rabat as second local base; eyes five new routes before year end.

Royal Air Maroc RAMAs part of plans to establish Rabat as its second local base after its main hub in Casablanca, Royal Air Maroc (AT) says it will launch twenty-two new flights from the Moroccan capital before year end.

Among the new planned direct routes out of Rabat to be added are:
  • London Heathrow (3x weekly)
  • Madrid (4x weekly)
  • Brussels (?)
  • Marseille (3x weekly)
  • Milan Malpensa (2x weekly)
  • Paris Orly (increased to 2x daily)
According to the Moroccan national carrier, the decision to establish a base in Rabat is part of its drive to better position itself strategically as well as to compliment its existing Casablanca operations. In addition to developing a more flexible point-to-point network, RAM also intends to use a Rabat base to broaden its scope and effect a change in its market catchment area.

The airline's most prominent competitor in Rabat is currently Irish LCC, Ryanair (FR), which operates to Brussels Charleroi, Girona (begins in November), Madrid (begins in October), Marseille and Paris Beauvais. London Stansted flights will begin in February 2014.

In January 2012, a new 16'000sqm passenger terminal was inaugurated at Rabat Salé International Airport with a capacity of 3.5 million pax/annum.