Saturday, 4 August 2018

Royal Air Maroc has big expansion plans but only if it survives strike action.

The national airline of Morocco, Royal Air Maroc has unveiled some big plans for 2019 including long-haul flights to Miami, increased capacity to London and a whole host of other improvements to its schedules. But, only if it can end the pilot's strike that is currently seeing around 10 flights a day getting cancelled.

The industrial action has been going on since the 19th July and shows no signs of ending any time soon. Negotiations between the unhappy pilots and the airline's management have so far proved fruitless and, according to the pilots, very hostile. The Royal Air Maroc pilots are striking for better pay and are also seeking better employment conditions, including fair treatment, health coverage, enhanced retirement terms and to have an equal amount of days off as their European counterparts each month. The government-owned airline seems completely entrenched and according to local media reports, highly unlikely to bow to the demands of the striking flight crew.

The strikes, which the airline calls 'social tensions' has been estimated to be costing the company approximately 20 million Dirhams, that's around £1.6 million per day and has seen as many as 20,000 people disrupted. The airline has warned the negative impact of the 'social tension's' could have serious implications, not only on the airline's future development but also for its very survival. 


The airline recently applied for and gained approval from the US Department of Transport to operate a route from Casablanca to Miami. The airline aims to start to route in April 2019 using a Boeing 787 Dreamline, which would compliment the carriers other US services to New York and Washington. 

During summer 2019 the airline plans to utilise both 767's and a 787 on its Casablanca London route, the 787 will do one rotation, while the 767's will perform at least 3 flights a week, scheduled between June and September.

Other enhancements for Summer 2019 (between  23rd June and mid-September)  will see the Casablanca – Montreal increase from 1 to 2 daily. The airline will be operating both a Boeing 787-8 and a 787-9 on the services.   The 787-8 is scheduled to operate AT206 which leaves Casablanca at 1455 arriving Montreal at 1715 local. The Return AT207 leaves the Canadian gateway at 1900 and lands back in Casablanca at 0630 the following morning.  The 787-9 will depart at 1830 to arrive in Canada at 2050 before the return departs at 2235 to get back the following day at 1005.

The service to New York JFK will see the 787-8 replaced by a 787-9. The Casablanca – Sao Paulo Guarulhos service is planned to increase to 6 from the current 5 weekly services, on a Boeing 787-9.  The airline has also said it will increase the Washington Dulles IAD schedule to 4 times a week during the summer, again it promises a 787 will be deployed. 

Two weeks ago the Royal Air Maroc issued a tentative schedule from Casablanca for its new Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft:

Accra   from 31st March  5 x week
Amsterdam  from  1st April, 1 x week
Barcelona  from  3rd April 1 x week
Bologna   from 31st March  3 x week
Lagos  from 31st March  6 x week
London Heathrow from 31st March 6 x week (except during June- Sep as listed above)
Milan Malpensa  from 3rd April 2 x week
Paris from  6th April 1 x week
Toulouse  from 5th April 1 x week

The Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft are fitted out with 12 seats in business class and 144 in the economy cabin. It is understood that these dates may change as the aircraft arrive. 



Current cancellations for today, 4th August
Flight
From
To
Status of disrupted flights on August 4
AT750
Casablanca
Paris
Canceled*
AT751
Paris
Casablanca
Canceled*
AT786
Casablanca
Paris CDG
Canceled*
AT787
Paris CDG
Casablanca
Canceled*
AT934
Casablanca
Naples
Canceled*
AT935
Naples
Casablanca
Canceled*
AT944
Casablanca
Turin
Canceled*
AT945
Turin
Casablanca
Canceled*
AT992
Casablanca
Madrid
Canceled*
AT993
Madrid
Casablanca
Canceled*

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