Royal Air Maroc

Royal Air Maroc

Infobox Airline
airline = Royal Air Maroc

logo_size = 116
fleet_size = 43 (+ 13 orders)
destinations = 73
callsign = ROYAL AIR MAROC
parent = Groupe Royal Air Maroc
founded = 1957
headquarters = Casablanca, Morocco
key_people = Driss Benhima (CEO since February 2006)
alliance =
hubs = Mohammed V International Airport (CMN), Casablanca
focus_cities = Ménara International Airport, Ibn Batouta International Airport
frequent_flyer = Safar Flyer
lounge = Casablanca Lounge
website =

Royal Air Maroc (commonly called RAM) is the flag carrier airline of Morocco, based in Casablanca. It operates scheduled international flights from Morocco to Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America and a domestic and charter network, (including Hajj flights). Its base is Mohammed V International Airport (CMN), Casablanca.


First days

The company was founded in 1953 as Compagnie Cherifienne des Transports Aeriens (CCTA). Junkers Ju-52 tri-engine aircraft started local services but these aircraft were soon replaced by DC-3s and Lockheed Constellations. The name Royal Air Maroc was adopted after independence and the company began flying international routes in 1957 from its main base in Casablanca.

The jet age

In 1960 RAM introduced its first jets: Sud Aviation SE-210 Caravelles. These flew to European routes such as Paris and Madrid until the mid 1970s when they began to be phased out in favor of Boeing 727s. Simultaneously, Boeing 707s were being introduced for longer or higher capacity routes and Original Series 737s for smaller routes. By the end of the 1970s, Royal Air Maroc was flying to Europe, North America, the Middle East, and finally North Africa.

The 1980s

RAM continued to expand in the 1980s. New routes were opened and routes expanded, frequencies were increased and new aircraft were introduced. Boeing 757s were purchased in 1986 and eventually replaced the oldest 727s. The expansion of Casablanca Mohammed V airport in 1984 provided the company with a more modern base.

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 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 2 767s to replace the single 747 in North American routes and in 2004, the low-cost subsidiary, Atlas Blue, was set up with its main base in Marrakesh. 6 Boeing 737-400 were transferred to it with the aim of providing tourists with a direct route to Moroccan resort towns. In 2005, the company ordered 4 Boeing 787s to replace the leased 767s and expand North American, Middle Eastern, and African routes. It was announced in May 2008 that RAM had transported a record-breaking 6.33 million passengers in the previous fiscal year, the year 2007 [] .

The future

In late 2005 an Open-Sky agreement was signed between Morocco and the EU. 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. The construction of a third terminal and runway at the Mohammed V airport(began late 2005) will provide RAM with more growth opportunities.

Stakes and ownership

The Moroccan government owns 95.95% of the airline and Air France 2.86%. The government intends to partially privatise the airline through the sale of a 25% holding. Royal Air Maroc has 5,719 employees. Royal Air Maroc has a 99% holding in Atlas Blue and 51% in Air Senegal International, see below.

The subsidiaries of "The Group Royal Air Maroc" are:

*Royal Air Maroc
*Air Sénégal International
*Atlas Blue
*Atlas Cargo
*Atlas Aérotechnic Industries
*Atlas Hospitality
*Atlas Handling
*RAM Academy



Royal Air Maroc operates the following fleet as reported on September 10, 2008. [Fleet-details from [] on 1 August 2008]

*The average age of the Royal Air Maroc fleet was 9.8 years in May 2008.
*Average age of Boeing fleet (excl. Atlas Blue) is 9.9 years [Age of RAM fleet from [] visited Aug. 1st 2008]

Codeshare agreements

Royal Air Maroc has codeshare agreements with the following airlines:

* Air Algérie
* Air France
* Air Senegal International
* Etihad Airways
* Delta Air Lines
* Egyptair
* Emirates
* Iberia Airlines
* Regional Air Lines
* Saudi Arabian Airlines
* Turkish Airlines

Incidents and accidents

On April 1 1970, a Sud Aviation SE-210 Caravelle crashed on approach to Casablanca Mohammad V airport when it lost control at a height of about 500 feet. Sixty one of the 82 passengers and crew were killed.

On December 22 1973, another Caravelle, leased from Sobelair, crashed near Tangiers Airport (TNG) when the pilot, during a storm, engaged the outbound procedural turn too far east causing the plane to overfly hazardous terrain and eventually crash. All 106 passengers and crew on board were killed.

On February 6 1989, an Vickers Vanguard 952, leased from Inter Cargo Systems for cargo-flights crashed during the 2nd takeoff attempt at Marignane Airport, Marseille, France. The airplane made a stop in Marseille en route from Casablanca to Paris-Orly to offload and load some cargo. The first attempt was aborted due to problems with the flight controls. At the 2nd attempt the crew expirienced also control problems. All three crewmembers died and the airplane was lost. [accident data from [ Aviation Safety] website on June 22, 2008]

On August 21 1994, an ATR 42-300 operating 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.

On January 21 1995, a Boeing 747-400 operating as Flight 205 was preparing to leave Montréal-Mirabel International Airport for New York and Casablanca. The pilot started taxiing forward, believing that deicing was complete and the parking stand was clear of any vehicles. It knocked down two deicing vehicles that were still in place in front of both horizontal stabilizers, killing three ground crew members and injuring two others. []


External links

* [ Official website]

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