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Royal Air Maroc

Royal Air Maroc
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded 1957 (1957)
Hubs Mohammed V International Airport
Focus cities
Frequent-flyer program Safar Flyer
Airport lounge Atlas Lounge[1]
Fleet size 53
Destinations 94
Company slogan The wings of Morocco
Parent company Moroccan Government
Headquarters Casablanca-Anfa Airport
Casablanca, Morocco
Key people Driss Benhima (CEO)
Net income Increase −MAD43 million (2012)
Employees 2,928 [2]
Website .com.royalairmarocwww

Royal Air Maroc (Arabic: الخطوط الملكية المغربية‎, Al-Khuṭũṭ al-Malikiyyah al-Maghribiyyah, literally Royal Moroccan Lines or Royal Moroccan Airlines; Berber: Amuddu Ugenna Ageldan Umerruk, MGGM), more commonly known as simply RAM, is the Moroccan national carrier,[3] as well as the country‍‍ '​‍s largest airline.[4] RAM is fully owned by the government of Morocco, and has its headquarters on the grounds of Casablanca-Anfa Airport. From its base at Mohammed V International Airport,[5] the carrier operates a domestic network in Morocco, scheduled international flights to Africa, Asia, Europe, North & South America, and occasional charter flights that include Hajj services.[6]


  • History 1
    • Early years 1.1
    • The 1980s 1.2
    • The 1990s 1.3
    • 2000-present 1.4
    • The future 1.5
  • Corporate affairs 2
    • Key people 2.1
    • Head office 2.2
    • Financial performance 2.3
    • Business trends 2.4
    • Ownership and subsidiaries 2.5
  • Destinations 3
    • Codeshare agreements 3.1
    • Frequent flyer programme 3.2
  • Fleet 4
    • Recent developments 4.1
    • Future plans 4.2
    • Current 4.3
    • Previously operated 4.4
  • Incidents and accidents 5
    • Fatal accidents 5.1
    • Non-fatal hull losses 5.2
  • See also 6
  • Notes 7
  • Citations 8
  • Bibliography 9
  • External links 10


Early years

A Royal Air Maroc Caravelle at Dusseldorf Airport in 1973. The carrier ordered its first two aircraft of the type in 1958.[7]:101

Royal Air Maroc—Compagnie Nationale de Transports Aériens was formed in July 1953 (1953-07) as a result of the merger of Compagnie Chérifienne de'l Air (Air Atlas) —setup in 1946 with Junkers Ju-52s— and Compagnie Chérifienne de Transports Aériens Air Maroc, that was founded in 1947 and commenced scheduled operations in 1949.[8] The fleet of the newly formed airline included six Bretagnes, four Commandos, five DC-3s and two Languedocs.[9] These aircraft worked on routes previously served by the predecessor companies, plus Frankfurt, Geneva and Paris.[10] The name Royal Air Maroc (RAM) was adopted on 28 June 1957 (1957-06-28),[nb 1] with the government of Morocco having a 67.73% stake.[11] Hajj flights commenced in 1957.[10] The carrier's fleet comprised 16 aircraft by April 1958 (1958-04), including four DC-4s, three DC-3s, seven Bretagnes and two C-46s.[12] In May 1958 (1958-05), the airline ordered two Caravelles.[7]:101 In July, a number of long-haul routes were launched using four Lockheed L-749 Constellations leased from Air France, and the coastal OranOujda run —which had been suspended in May— was reopened. Also in 1958, the carrier started flying to Gibraltar. The arrival of the Constellations enabled the airline to withdraw the DC-4s from service.[10]

A single Caravelle was part of the fleet of four L-749 Constellations, four DC-4s and three DC-3s by April 1960 (1960-04), making the Caravelle the first jet aircraft operated by the company; another Caravelle was yet to be delivered.[8] The type began serving the RabatBamako route in July 1961 (1961-07). By 1964, there were three Caravelles in the fleet.[10] A fourth was ordered in late 1964.[13] At April 1965 (1965-04), the company had 758 employees and chairmanship was held by Mohammed Al Fassi. The route network included services within North Africa, and also linked North Africa with France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland; the CasablancaDakar and Casablanca–Las Palmas sectors were also flown. Shareholding at the time was split between the government of Morocco (64%), Air France (21%), Compagnie Generale Transatlantique (7.6%), Aviacion y Comercio (5%) and others (2.4%).[14] An order for a fifth Caravelle was placed in early 1968.[15] By 1969, all routes to Europe and North Africa were flown using solely these aircraft.[16] In 1969, the carrier placed its first order with Boeing.[17]

A Royal Air Maroc Boeing 727-200 Advanced at Düsseldorf Airport in 1993.

Royal Air Maroc took delivery of the first Boeing aircraft, a Boeing 727-200, in 1970,[18] with the carrier deploying it on revenue service on 15 May.[10] Subsidiary airline Royal Air Inter was formed early in the year to undertake domestic routes using Fokker F-27 Friendship equipment; this sister company started operations on 2 April 1970, and by May 1971 (1971-05), it was serving Agadir, Al Hoceima, Casablanca, Fez, Marrakesh, Oujda, Rabat, Tangier and Tetouan.[19] The RAM's fleet at May 1971 (1971-05) comprised two Boeing 727-200s, along with four Caravelles and two SIAI Marchetti SF.260s.[20] At a cost of US$8.85 million, a third Boeing 727-200 was ordered in 1972.[21] In 1974, the carrier ordered a single Boeing 727-200 Advanced,[22] followed by an order for a fourth Boeing 727-200.[23] Also that year, negotiations with Air France for the lease of a Boeing 707-320B started.[10] By March 1975 (1975-03), the Boeing 707 was part of an 11-strong fleet, along with four Boeing 727-200s, four Caravelles, and two SIAI Marchetti SF.260s.[24] RAM flew the leased Boeing 707 to New York for the first time in April 1975 (1975-04), becoming the first Arab airline in serving this destination.[10] During the year, the company acquired three Boeing 737-200s to replace the Caravelles.[25] Also in 1975, a weekly non-stop service to Rio de Janeiro was started.[26] An order for three more Boeing 727-200s was placed in early 1976.[27] That year, the four Caravelles were withdrawn from service and sold. A Boeing 747-200B entered the fleet in September 1978 (1978-09).[26]

The 1980s

By July 1980 (1980-07), Royal Air Maroc had 3,583 employees. At this time, the carrier‍‍ '​‍s fleet consisted of a single Boeing 747-200B, two Boeing 707-320Cs, one Boeing 707-320, seven Boeing 727-200s and three Boeing 737-200s.[28] Another Boeing 727-200, ordered in January that year,[29] was still pending delivery.[28] At a cost of US$16 million, an additional Boeing 737-200 was ordered in 1981, with the US Export-Import Bank arranging a US$5 million loan to secure the delivery, and RAM and private financers funding the balance. Delivery was slated for March 1982 (1982-03).[30] During 1982, two Boeing 737-200Cs were ordered for US$33 million; deliveries were arranged for March and June 1983 (1983-06).[31] Late that year, the airline joined the International Air Transport Association.[32]

In July 1986 (1986-07), RAM was the first African airline that introduced the Boeing 757 into service.[33] The first of these aircraft that was delivered to the company set a record for the type when it flew the distance separating Seattle from Casablanca, 4,910 nautical miles (9,090 km; 5,650 mi), non-stop.[34]

The 1990s

In the early days of the decade, the last of the 707s was removed from the fleet. Meanwhile, newer, more efficient, Classic 400 and 500 Series Boeing 737s were introduced to increase the frequency of European routes. By the middle of the decade all 727s had disappeared. To consolidate its North American operations, Royal Air Maroc purchased a single Boeing 747-400. As the decade progressed, new routes to previously under-served African airports were opened.


With the increasing number of passengers and newly opened routes as well as increasing oil prices, there was a need to buy new aircraft. In 2000 an order for 20 Next Generation Boeing 737 aircraft and 4 Airbus A321s was placed. Meanwhile, more routes to west and central African cities were opened. RAM was now changing, from providing flights to meet the demands of foreign tourists and Moroccan expatriates, to providing connections between European cities and African cities via the Casablanca hub. In 2002, the company leased two 767s to replace the single 747 in North American routes.

The future

Morocco and the EU signed an open skies agreement in late 2006. This means that Royal Air Maroc will have to face tough competition from low cost carriers eager to exploit profitable routes between Western Europe and Morocco. A further challenge arises from the high cost of kerosene and the fact that the company may have to drop some of its unprofitable domestic and international routes.

Corporate affairs

Key people

As of May 2015, Royal Air Maroc's chairman and CEO positions are held by Driss Benhima,[35][36] who took office in February 2006 (2006-02).[37]

Head office

Royal Air Maroc has its head office on the grounds of Casablanca-Anfa Airport in Casablanca.[38][39] In 2004 the airline announced that it would move its head office from Casablanca to the Nouaceur Province, near Mohammed V International Airport. MAP, the official state news agency, said that the construction of the headquarters and a 500 room conference hotel would take 1 year and 6 months.[40] The agreement to build the head office in Nouaceur was signed in 2009.[41]

Financial performance

The carrier made a profit of MAD 836 million (some USD 83 million)[42] for the fiscal year (FY) 2012, the best result in ten years.[43] As part of cost-cutting measures that included the reduction in the number of employees by 1,974 between June 2011 (2011-06) and October 2012 (2012-10) and a fleet renewal program, among others, the net income for the same period was reduced to −MAD 43 million from −MAD 1.67 billion in FY 2011.[44] Following restructuration —that included the removal of ten medium-haul aircraft— the staff-to-aircraft ratio decreased from 110:1 to 58:1, whereas the ratio of passengers transported per employee increased from 1,054:1 to 2,329:1.[45]

Business trends

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Profits (MAD, 000s) 460,000 168,000 −492,000 −499,000 718,000 789,000 616,000
Number of employees
Number of passengers (000s) 610,000 580,000 560,000
Passenger load factor (%)
Number of aircraft (at year end)
Notes/sources [45] [45] [45] [45] [45] [45] [35]

Ownership and subsidiaries

A Boeing 737-400 wearing a combined Royal Air Maroc/Atlas Blue livery in 2009. The Atlas Blue fleet was merged with the parent company's one in 2011.[46]

As of January 2015, the airline is owned by the Moroccan government,[45] which has considered the privatisation of the company for about 20 years;[47] the latest plan, dating from late 2012, reportedly included selling up to 44% of the stakes to a Gulf airline.[4] As of April 2014, Royal Air Maroc had 2,737 employees; the staff was 5,352-strong in 2010.[45]

As of December 2012, The Group Royal Air Maroc had the following subsidiaries:

Former RAM subsidiaries include:

  • Air Gabon International, formed in December 2005 (2005-12) as a joint venture between the State of Gabon and RAM, which held a controlling interest (51%).[48][49] It intended to be the new Gabonese flag carrier.[50]
  • Air Sénégal International, created in 2000, had its maiden flight in 2001;[51] the government of Senegal was the stockholder of 49% of the company and RAM held the balance at the time it ceased operations in April 2009 (2009-04).[52][53]
  • Amadeus Morocco[54]
  • Atlas Blue: RAM's fully owned low-cost subsidiary.[55] It was created on 28 May 2004,[56] and started operations in July the same year.[57] Based in Marrakech, it initially operated a single Boeing 737-400 that was transferred from its parent company and deployed on charter routes to France.[58] Operations were integrated into RAM in 2009,[59] while the fleets of both carriers officially merged on 10 February 2011.[46]
  • Atlas Catering Airlines Services
  • Atlas Hospitality Morocco,[60] a chain of hotels[61]
  • Matis, dedicated to the aircraft wiring industry[60]


Codeshare agreements

As of April 2015, Royal Air Maroc has codeshare agreements with the following airlines, which are the actual operators of the routes specified:[62]

Frequent flyer programme

RAM's frequent flyer programme is called Safar Flyer.[67] As of January 2013, cardholders can earn and redeem miles either by flying RAM, its direct subsidiaries, or its partner airlines Iberia, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways; hotels and car rental companies offer benefits too.[68]


Recent developments

A Royal Air Maroc Boeing 747-200B at Charles de Gaulle Airport in 1996.

As of March 2013, Royal Air Maroc (RAM) operated an all-Boeing fleet.[69] RAM placed an order for nine Boeing 737 Next Generation in October 1996 (1996-10); the first of these aircraft the airline took possession of, in July 1998 (1998-07), was a Boeing 737-800, making the carrier the first scheduled one outside the United States to take delivery of this model.[70] RAM received its first Boeing 737-700 in April 1999 (1999-04).[71] In March 2001 (2001-03), RAM placed orders for 20 new Boeing 737 NGs plus two wide-bodied Boeing 767-300ERs in a deal worth about US$1.4 billion.[72][73] That same year, RAM became a new Airbus customer when it bought four Airbus A321s.[74] In January 2002 (2002-01), the airline took delivery of its first Boeing 767-300ER.[18]

After the carrier's Board of Directors agreed to buy a number of Boeing 787s on 29 July 2005,[75] a memorandum of understanding for the acquisition of these aircraft was signed with Boeing on 31 July the same year.[76] The deal, worth US$650 million and including five Dreamliners, was confirmed in early November that year, with initial delivery slated for October 2008 (2008-10).[77] The purchase contract was signed in December 2005 (2005-12), and also included an aircraft of the type on option.[78] Following an over-US$100 million-worth contract that was signed in February 2006 (2006-02), these aircraft will be powered with General Electric GEnx engines.[79] Boeing delivered RAM‍‍ '​‍s first Dreamliner in December 2014 (2014-12).[80][81]

RAM was the launch customer for the ATR 72-600, when it took delivery of two of these aircraft, on behalf of its regional subsidiary RAM Express, in August 2011 (2011-08).[82][83] The carrier had placed an order for four aircraft of the type in March 2009 (2009-03), along with two ATR 42-600s.[84]

Future plans

In June 2013 (2013-06), RAM's CEO told that airline was seeking for new generation aircraft as a replacement for the ageing fleet, that the carrier will need 20 to 30 new aircraft by 2020, and that the Boeing 787 was being considered for long-haul routes, whereas the Airbus Neo, the Boeing Max, Bombardier CSeries and Embraers were all being considered for medium-haul flights.[85] A contract for the lease of four Embraer E-190s was signed in mid-2014;[5] the carrier took delivery of the first of these aircraft in November the same year.[45][86]


A Royal Air Maroc Boeing 737-800 at Marrakesh Menara Airport in 2013.
A Royal Air Maroc Boeing 747-400.

As of April 2015, the Royal Air Maroc fleet consists of the following aircraft:[87]

Royal Air Maroc fleet
Passenger fleet
Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers Notes
C Y Total
ATR 72-600 5[88] 12 58[89] 70 Operated by Royal Air Maroc Express[90]
Boeing 737-700 6 12 120 132
138 138
Boeing 737-800 30 12 159 171
12 165 177
183 183
Boeing 747-400 1 20 478 498[91] To be retired in 2015; Boeing 747-8 and Airbus A380 being considered as possible replacement.[92]
Boeing 767-300ER 4 12 224 236
10 227 237
10 225 235
Boeing 787-8 2 3[93] 18 256 274[91]
Embraer E-190 4 12 84 96
Cargo fleet
Boeing 737-300F 1 N/A
Total 53 3

Previously operated

A Royal Air Maroc Airbus A321-200 at Mohammed V International Airport in 2006.

Throughout its history, the carrier operated the following equipment:[69]

Incidents and accidents

Fatal accidents

  • 1 April 1970: A Caravelle III, registration CN-CCV, that was due to complete the first leg of an international Agadir–Casablanca–Paris scheduled flight, crashed on approach to Nouasseur Airport, near Berrechid, when control was lost at about 500 feet (150 m). Sixty one people perished in the accident, out of 82 occupants of the aircraft.[96][97]
  • 22 December 1973: a Caravelle VIN, registration OO-SRD, that was completing the first leg of an international non-scheduled ParisTangierCasablanca passenger service, crashed into mountainous terrain on approach to Tangier Airport, some 40 kilometres (25 mi) off the airport. The aircraft had been leased from Sobelair. All 106 occupants on board perished in the accident.[98]
  • 21 August 1994: an ATR 42-300 operating Flight 630, the domestic Agadir-Casablanca route lost control at 16000 feet, entered a steep dive, and crashed into nearby mountains. Investigators suspect that the pilot deliberately disengaged the autopilot and directed the aircraft into the ground. All of the 44 passengers and crew members were killed.

Non-fatal hull losses

See also


  1. ^ The title was also reported to have been adopted in February 1957 (1957-02).[8]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^  Archived 21 February 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b
  8. ^ a b c d  Archived 5 January 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b c d e f g Guttery (1998), p. 128.
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ a b
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
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  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^ a b Guttery (1998), p. 129.
  27. ^
  28. ^ a b
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^ a b c  Archived 22 May 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  36. ^ a b  Archived 7 May 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  37. ^
  38. ^ "Non-airline partners." Royal Air Maroc. Retrieved on 19 October 2009. "Royal Air Maroc, Safar Flyer, Headquarters of the Royal Air Maroc Group, Casa – Anfa Casablanca Airport–"
  39. ^ "Legal Notice" (Archive). Royal Air Maroc. p. 10/29. Retrieved on 24 August 2014. (under "Article V - Reservations") "Customer Service complaints Casa-Anfa Airport Casablanca 20200 MOROCCO"
  40. ^ "Royal Air Maroc.(Africa/Middle East)(Brief Article)." Air Transport World. 1 July 2004. Retrieved on 19 October 2009.
  41. ^ "Casablanca: Nouaceur abritera le futur siège de la RAM." L'Économiste. 18 August 2009. Retrieved on 19 October 2009.
  42. ^
  43. ^
  44. ^
  45. ^ a b c d e f g h i j  Archived 16 January 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  46. ^ a b
  47. ^
  48. ^
  49. ^
  50. ^
  51. ^
  52. ^
  53. ^
  54. ^
  55. ^
  56. ^
  57. ^
  58. ^
  59. ^
  60. ^ a b
  61. ^
  62. ^  Archived 18 April at WebCite
  63. ^
  64. ^
  65. ^
  66. ^
  67. ^
  68. ^ a b
  69. ^
  70. ^
  71. ^
  72. ^
  73. ^
  74. ^
  75. ^
  76. ^
  77. ^
  78. ^
  79. ^  Archived 5 January 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  80. ^  Archived 5 January 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  81. ^
  82. ^  Archived 15 June 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  83. ^
  84. ^
  85. ^  Archived 14 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  86. ^
  87. ^
  88. ^
  89. ^
  90. ^ a b  Archived 16 January 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  91. ^
  92. ^
  93. ^  Archived 14 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  94. ^
  95. ^ Accident description for CN-CCV at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 29 December 2012.
  96. ^
  97. ^ Accident description for OO-SRD at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 8 January 2013.
  98. ^ Accident description for CN-CCJ at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 29 December 2012.
  99. ^ Accident description for CN-RNF at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 8 January 2013.


External links

  • Official website
  • Royal Air Maroc Corporate (French)
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