Royal Air Maroc 737MAX 8 (IJ041) C1 Flight - December 16, 2018

MIAMI – Morocco’s national airline Royal Air Maroc (AT) is preparing for a massive layoff plan, a reduction in the fleet, and the shutdown of certain agencies as part of its recovery plan to mitigate the impact of the three-month-long suspension of air traffic.

The strategy became official following a meeting on Thursday, July 2, between the upper management of AT, staff representatives, and the representatives of the National Air Transport Federation (FNTA).

A Royal Air Maroc Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner is rolling for takeoff at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), bound for Casablanca. Photo: Adam Moreira

Layoff plan details

Abdelhamid Addou (47), AT CEO, stated that the layoff plan would affect 858 jobs within AT or 30% of its global workforce.

The company has also set up a voluntary redundancy plan for employees aged above 57 years with 15 years of seniority. The discharge concerns 180 pilots, 30% of the cabin crew, and approximately 13% of the ground personnel that include baggage handlers.

Royal Air Maroc Boeing 737-800 is on final for landing.

Fleet downsizing

The company is also set to proceed to sell 20 planes including four Embraer ERJ-190s, four Boeing 787 Dreamliners and a dozen of Boeing 737 Next Generation aircraft.

The AT fleet, with an average age of 10.9 years, currently boasts 60 aircraft including thirty-seven Boeing 737s, two Boeing 737 Max, two Boeing 767, nine Boeing 787 Dreamliner, four Embraer ERJ-190 and six ATR 72-212A.

Royal Air Maroc Boeing 737-800 takes off at Frankfurt Intl’ Airport (FRA).
Photo: Milad A380

Economy situation of the airline

The company has reportedly experienced US$109.1m in monthly losses since the closure of national borders and the declaration of the emergency state in mid-March. Now with the drop in global tourism, AT is predicted to lose 20% of its air traffic in 2020, prompting continued financial losses.

The sustainable resumption of normal air traffic activities is projected for the year 2023 and potentially for 2025, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).