lisbonbearuk
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Royal Air Maroc - The Future?

Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:11 pm

There has been lots of rumour recently about what strategy AT has for the future. But what plans does RAM have for the immediate future? When do their 787s arrive and on which routes will the be used?

New routes rumoured are:

CMN-GRU/JNB/LAD/PEK/BOM

[Edited 2012-03-04 06:13:29]
 
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usdcaguy
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Royal Air Maroc - The Future?

Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:46 pm

Quoting lisbonbearuk (Thread starter):
CMN-GRU/JNB/LAD/PEK/BOM

The problem with AT is that its traffic mainly comes from Europe where it is in direct competition with low cost carriers to Morocco and with the European legacies to points in Africa. Due to the amount of capacity already in place exit Europe, my guess is that flights in new markets would go half empty and would attract mainly low fares, but I could be wrong. From what I've heard, JFK-CMN service on AT currently leaves a lot to be desired with things like hand soap and towels often in short supply. However, the 787 would be a step up in service over the 767 and could make AT a more attractive option. For that reason, I think AT should think about putting it on some of their prime routes - CMN-JFK, CMN-ABJ, CMN-DKR, etc. to capture more share. CMN-JNB may hold promise, but carriers like AF and LH have already put a lot of capacity in place. I don't see CMN-LAD working as it is mostly a business destination for oil companies that have contracts with carriers like LH/AF/KL/BA.

Another challenge for AT is the fact that Morocco has many destinations as a country. There are so many fascinating cities to visit that people often bypass the capital (which I find very interesting in itself) and fly directly to their chosen city. That has opened up a lot of O&D flying exit Europe, and AT has been trying hard to play that game. I think the best thing they could do is look at investing in larger RJ equipment to push up loads and hopefully yields in markets where the 737 is too much plane (such as MADRAK).
 
klwright69
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RE: Royal Air Maroc - The Future?

Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:54 pm

Interesting thread and interesting response. Royal Air Maroc is not an airline people talk about that much. It's kind of an "under the radar" airline.
 
bjorn14
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RE: Royal Air Maroc - The Future?

Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:22 pm

Well when AT takes delivery of their ATR42-600s in Fall 2012 they will have a 6-seat J class. A step in the right direction.   
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usflyer msp
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RE: Royal Air Maroc - The Future?

Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:35 pm

They should join Oneworld and focus on their Europe/North America - West/Central Africa niche. They should look at turning their operation at CMN into something like CM at PTY - smaller planes than their competitors but much more frequency and more efficient connections. Flying all those far flung routes mentioned by the OP, even with a 787, is a recipe for bankruptcy.
 
Pe@rson
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RE: Royal Air Maroc - The Future?

Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:43 pm

Quoting usflyer msp (Reply 4):
Flying all those far flung routes mentioned by the OP, even with a 787, is a recipe for bankruptcy.
Quoting lisbonbearuk (Thread starter):
CMN-GRU/JNB/LAD/PEK/BOM

AT already flies CMN-LAD via LBV twice-weekly using the 738. Started 11th Dec 2011.

Source: http://www.anna.aero/2011/12/08/roya...hes-new-route-to-luanda-in-angola/
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RobertS975
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RE: Royal Air Maroc - The Future?

Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:31 pm

Quoting usflyer msp (Reply 4):
hey should join Oneworld and focus on their Europe/North America - West/Central Africa niche. They should look at turning their operation at CMN into something like CM at PTY - smaller planes than their competitors but much more frequency and more efficient connections. Flying all those far flung routes mentioned by the OP, even with a 787, is a recipe for bankruptcy.

Most likely alliance for AT is Skyteam... they have close ties for decades with AF. And their premier international route to JFK has been a codeshare with DL for many years now.

And according to articles in Aviation Week published a number of years ago, they were actively considering Skyteam.
Haven't heard anything recent.
 
usflyer msp
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RE: Royal Air Maroc - The Future?

Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:51 pm

Quoting RobertS975 (Reply 6):
Most likely alliance for AT is Skyteam... they have close ties for decades with AF. And their premier international route to JFK has been a codeshare with DL for many years now.

And according to articles in Aviation Week published a number of years ago, they were actively considering Skyteam.
Haven't heard anything recent.

The reason I said Oneworld is because BA/IB are relatively small players in West Africa (except for BA in Ghana/Nigeria) so AT would actually add something to the alliance network instead of being almost completely duplicative with AF in Skyteam. AA has a hub at JFK just like DL does so It would not be a problem for their JFK route.
 
abrelosojos
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RE: Royal Air Maroc - The Future?

Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:55 pm

Quoting usdcaguy (Reply 1):
The problem with AT is that its traffic mainly comes from Europe where it is in direct competition with low cost carriers to Morocco and with the European legacies to points in Africa. Due to the amount of capacity already in place exit Europe, my guess is that flights in new markets would go half empty and would attract mainly low fares, but I could be wrong. From what I've heard, JFK-CMN service on AT currently leaves a lot to be desired with things like hand soap and towels often in short supply. However, the 787 would be a step up in service over the 767 and could make AT a more attractive option. For that reason, I think AT should think about putting it on some of their prime routes - CMN-JFK, CMN-ABJ, CMN-DKR, etc. to capture more share. CMN-JNB may hold promise, but carriers like AF and LH have already put a lot of capacity in place. I don't see CMN-LAD working as it is mostly a business destination for oil companies that have contracts with carriers like LH/AF/KL/BA.

Another challenge for AT is the fact that Morocco has many destinations as a country. There are so many fascinating cities to visit that people often bypass the capital (which I find very interesting in itself) and fly directly to their chosen city. That has opened up a lot of O&D flying exit Europe, and AT has been trying hard to play that game. I think the best thing they could do is look at investing in larger RJ equipment to push up loads and hopefully yields in markets where the 737 is too much plane (such as MADRAK).

= Actually, I think AT has been very smart over the years and recognized it cannot simply compete with European LCC's and those providing P2P service into some other Moroccon cities - their hub @ CMN has actually been very effective and I do think there is plenty of opportunities to grow - take a look at their network - quietly, they have become quiet an effective and large player. Sure, if you want to go from Paris to Luanda, you can fly over-priced AF ... but for anywhere else in Europe (for the large diaspora) you can do a quick 1-stop flight to LAD. Moreover, the price sensitive traveler from CDG still has this option as well.

To be fair, this "model" was not pioneered by RAM - recognition should be given to Afriqiyah which was the one that came up with it, and was quite successful in the beginning.

Of the rumored destinations, I think JNB is most likely - GRU is saturated by now, and PEK/BOM becomes circuitous for AT to perform.

Saludos,
A.
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Avianca
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RE: Royal Air Maroc - The Future?

Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:01 pm

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 8):
Of the rumored destinations, I think JNB is most likely - GRU is saturated by now, and PEK/BOM becomes circuitous for AT to perform.

anyhow I think GRU could be an interesting and good performing destination! The Arab community in Brazil is very big and if I am not wrong the own Marocoan population in Sao Paulo / Brazil is also not small.
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cedarjet
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RE: Royal Air Maroc - The Future?

Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:27 pm

RAM are looking at ways to use their CMN hub to serve markets where they enjoy a geographic advantage - Europe and North America to West Africa, where they enjoy excellent yield on flights to Mali, Senegal, Mauritania, Liberia et al.

Quoting klwright69 (Reply 2):
Interesting thread and interesting response. Royal Air Maroc is not an airline people talk about that much. It's kind of an "under the radar" airline.

True, the CMN hub strategy isn't well known, truly it is under the radar, but I understand it is going very well so far and they are adding more African destinations.

Quoting Avianca (Reply 9):
anyhow I think GRU could be an interesting and good performing destination! The Arab community in Brazil is very big and if I am not wrong the own Marocoan population in Sao Paulo / Brazil is also not small.

There are more Lebanese in Brazil than there are in Lebanon. Since MEA don't fly to Sao Paolo anymore (sad face), most of the traffic (of which there is tonnes) goes via Paris on Air France. Flying via Casablanca saves 675 miles of flying. RAM would half fill a 767 to GRU just with the connecting traffic out of Lebanon - remember MEA used to serve Sao Paolo with the 747-200. The loads and yield is most certainly there.
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Viscount724
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RE: Royal Air Maroc - The Future?

Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:31 pm

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 10):
Since MEA don't fly to Sao Paolo anymore
Quoting cedarjet (Reply 10):
remember MEA used to serve Sao Paolo with the 747-200.

Minor nitpick. It's Sao Paulo (not Paolo). A very frequent error.  
 
kaitak
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RE: Royal Air Maroc - The Future?

Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:48 pm

Well, they'll try their best to make CMN an effective hub - and like anything based in Casablanca, the fundamental things will apply as time goes by: decent quality of service (not one of the world's great airlines, but certainly not one of the worst), a modern fleet and good links to W Africa. When you look at airlines in that region, there aren't that many which are highly thought of and along the coast, right down to Nigeria, there are significant population centres, which AT can (and indeed does) serve from CMN.
 
RobertS975
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RE: Royal Air Maroc - The Future?

Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:48 pm

Quoting usflyer msp (Reply 7):
The reason I said Oneworld is because BA/IB are relatively small players in West Africa (except for BA in Ghana/Nigeria) so AT would actually add something to the alliance network instead of being almost completely duplicative with AF in Skyteam. AA has a hub at JFK just like DL does so It would not be a problem for their JFK route.

I am betting that AF owns a piece of AT. Besides, work on improving your stengths, not weakening them!
 
usflyer msp
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RE: Royal Air Maroc - The Future?

Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:07 pm

Quoting RobertS975 (Reply 13):
I am betting that AF owns a piece of AT.

AF is a minor investor in RAM. IAG is too.

Quoting RobertS975 (Reply 13):
Besides, work on improving your stengths, not weakening them!

If AT joined Skyteam, I bet that AF would push hard to change AT's strategy of attracting pax by under-cutting AF on West African routes. IAG/OW would be much more supportive.
 
lisbonbearuk
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RE: Royal Air Maroc - The Future?

Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:14 pm

How many 787s are coming RAM's way, and when are they due?
 
Viscount724
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RE: Royal Air Maroc - The Future?

Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:23 pm

Quoting lisbonbearuk (Reply 15):
How many 787s are coming RAM's way

4 on order.
 
IADLHR
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RE: Royal Air Maroc - The Future?

Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:35 pm

Didnt they announce that IAD was on their list when the 787 starts service? I think I read that somewhere.
 
ba319-131
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RE: Royal Air Maroc - The Future?

Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:47 pm

Quoting usdcaguy (Reply 1):

However, the 787 would be a step up in service over the 767 and could make AT a more attractive option.

- I've flown the 787 internationally, IMO, it is no different to any other plane out there today, I felt no more refreshed than stepping off a 777. The only way you'll have a better flight in Y is if the airline gives a decent configuration, ANA have, the majority won't.
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Viscount724
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RE: Royal Air Maroc - The Future?

Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:53 pm

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 18):
Quoting usdcaguy (Reply 1):

However, the 787 would be a step up in service over the 767 and could make AT a more attractive option.

That's debatable. Personally, I prefer the 767 over all other widebodies due to the 2-3-2 configuration and only a 1 in 7 chance of a middle seat.
 
andrefranca
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RE: Royal Air Maroc - The Future?

Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:29 am

GRU-CMN ? Dream on! unless they had a "tag-on" to Portugal or Spain with atractive fares then it could work...
 
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SOBHI51
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RE: Royal Air Maroc - The Future?

Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:42 am

I flew AT last week BEY-CMN on there 738 in C. Flight was on time, food was so so, service was good, plane was clean, there was only small tv monitors from the plane ceiling, but they forgot to load headsets  
The plane was full in Y and 60% in C.

Also a couple of years back i flew them CMN-RUH on 737-700 i think, we did have to do a technical stop in CAI.
I remember so food was better, but it was along flight.
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abrelosojos
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RE: Royal Air Maroc - The Future?

Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:11 am

Quoting Avianca (Reply 9):
anyhow I think GRU could be an interesting and good performing destination! The Arab community in Brazil is very big and if I am not wrong the own Marocoan population in Sao Paulo / Brazil is also not small.

= GRU would be interesting prior to EK/QR/TK flights. Yields have actually gone down substantially on several of the routes.

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 10):
There are more Lebanese in Brazil than there are in Lebanon. Since MEA don't fly to Sao Paolo anymore (sad face), most of the traffic (of which there is tonnes) goes via Paris on Air France. Flying via Casablanca saves 675 miles of flying. RAM would half fill a 767 to GRU just with the connecting traffic out of Lebanon - remember MEA used to serve Sao Paolo with the 747-200. The loads and yield is most certainly there.

= But, are these Lebanese as committed to the "motherland" as the Lebanese in (say) West Africa?

Quoting usflyer msp (Reply 14):
If AT joined Skyteam, I bet that AF would push hard to change AT's strategy of attracting pax by under-cutting AF on West African routes. IAG/OW would be much more supportive.

= Wouldn't it be the same with IAG/OW wanting Iberia to strengthen its MAD hub?

Quoting andrefranca (Reply 20):

GRU-CMN ? Dream on! unless they had a "tag-on" to Portugal or Spain with atractive fares then it could work...

= Why? They used to fly it before ...

Saludos,
A.
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usdcaguy
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RE: Royal Air Maroc - The Future?

Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:38 am

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 18):
- I've flown the 787 internationally, IMO, it is no different to any other plane out there today, I felt no more refreshed than stepping off a 777. The only way you'll have a better flight in Y is if the airline gives a decent configuration, ANA have, the majority won't.

You're right about that. The reason I said the 787 might be an attractive option is only because the 767 AT flies between CMN and JFK is so old. You will find multiple negative reviews about this aircraft on Skytrax (although that website is not to be entirely trusted). That said, I have the feeling the type of tourist that visits Morocco is just not going to care about the aircraft; having a nonstop at a cheap fare with no stop in Europe is attractive enough, unless better competition comes along.
 
usflyer msp
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RE: Royal Air Maroc - The Future?

Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:40 am

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 22):
= Wouldn't it be the same with IAG/OW wanting Iberia to strengthen its MAD hub?

Obviously there would be some competition with IB in West/Central/North Africa but AT is much more established (IB serves 8 cities while AT serves 30) and Morocco has historic religious, linguistic (french and arabic) and financial ties to the region that might make many travellers prefer a transit at CMN to MAD (although MAD's facilities are far superior).

Additionally, West/Central Africa is fast-growing and IAG/OW can use RAM to establish a immediate and strong OW presence in the region and then as traffic grows they can add their own services from MAD.
 
lisbonbearuk
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RE: Royal Air Maroc - The Future?

Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:16 am

CMN seems to be undergoing some sort of expansion - at least T1 appaears to be getting a new look and new gates, so maybe the hub is set for major expansion?

AT used to have strong links with AF, but they have long-since gone. The airline would make a far better fit into OneWorld, which is woefully low on Africa representation.
I mean, if Kingfisher can join....!

It will be interesting to see what happens to the BMI routes from LHR to CMN/RAK and AGA once they fet taken over by BA....AT already codeshare with IB from many points in Morocco, so they could do worse than replicate this on the BA routes to the UK.
 
titus95
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RE: Royal Air Maroc - The Future?

Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:24 am

Not sure GRU will work well for AT.
They opened GRU with 747s , "only" for the Royal Family , as this requested a direct link between Morocco and Brasil.
Load factor was very poor.Will they do the same mistake , for the same reason ?
However it will be more economicly performing with the 787.

I guess one of the very first destination for the 787 will be Paris Orly , for crew familiarisation.
 
andrefranca
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RE: Royal Air Maroc - The Future?

Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:21 pm

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 22):
Why? They used to fly it before ...

But it didn't work, we suffer from monopoly on the spain/portugal routes ( IB JJ TP ) the fares are often too high, maybe with AT flying GRU-CMN-LIS or GRU-CMN-MAD could bring some more options, I know SQ is flying GRU-BCN-SIN and it seems to work!
 
JU068
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RE: Royal Air Maroc - The Future?

Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:58 pm

I guess that no matter which alliance they join they will have to compete with someone for the African continent. However, they have to see which alliance needs them more.

If they end up joining oneworld, wouldn't it be better for them to cooperate with American Airlines for the US-African market. If they go with Skyteam I am sure Delta wouldn't be too happy to have AT take some of its US-African passengers. Plus Skyteam already has Kenyan in Africa which seems like a decent airline.