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Casablanca: are low-cost airlines being pushed out?


Totally congested, Casablanca airport has quietly fired some low-cost airlines, which operated on routes including Paris. The construction promised to enlarge the platform is struggling to start, despite the ambitions of the Moroccan government. Is it really certain that the country wants to protect its national company? To be explored...



Without slots available, Vueling left Casablanca-DR Photo
Without slots available, Vueling left Casablanca-DR Photo
In March 2014, Vueling received some bad news.

The company which operated daily flights between Paris and Casablanca suddenly saw its slots withdrawn from the Moroccan airport, forcing it to pass through Rabat to carry its passengers.

Blame it on a new created slot allocation committee , which seems to want to put some order into the new companies.

And the last companies to arrive suffered the consequences.

easyJet has also been affected.

Even Transavia, which nevertheless hoped to expand in Morocco with the support of the tourist office, is not welcome on the casaouis platform.

The expansion project still not started

The official reason given by the authorities: the lack of space.

Mohamed V airport, the first airport in the country, is now at full capacity due to the closure of Terminal 1 since 2010 for expansion.

The remaining two terminals have a capacity of 6.5 million passengers, while traffic reached nearly 8 million passengers annually.

The new project, which aims to increase the capacity to 21 million passengers, has not yet started.

The work appears to have been postponed indefinitely, a complete contradiction with the current political ambitions.

Morocco hopes to triple its routes by 2020 with a target of 1,600 deliveries per week and 20 million tourists per year.

But as stated by Zouhair Mohamed EL Aoufir, the Director of the National Office Moroccan airports, this plan does not seem involve Rabat and Casablanca.

Casablanca also remains the hub of the Royal Air Morocco, weighing 50% of its activity. And the latter should not be displeased to see low-cost competitors being temporarily pushed back.

Written by Laury-Anne CHOLEZ traduit par Joséphine Foucher the 15/06/2014
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