Morocco’s airports see 2014 Q1 growth of 15.4%; easyJet and transavia.com France grow while Ryanair and Vueling shrink
As Europe’s route development community gets ready to congress in Marrakech at the CONNECT event, we felt it was timely to take another look at this North African market. Our recent analysis of Morocco’s air transport market in 2013 revealed that a record 16.5 million passengers were handled by the country’s airports, an increase of 9.2% on 2012. The first three months of 2014 have continued to see impressive year-on-year growth, with passenger numbers up 15.4% in the first quarter of the year. That means that in nine of the last 11 months traffic growth has been greater than 10%.
Royal Air Maroc still accounts for over 40% of scheduled seat capacity
Despite the growth of LCCs serving the Moroccan market (thanks to the country’s ‘open-skies’ agreement with the EU), the nation’s flag-carrier, Royal Air Maroc, continues to account for over 40% of all international scheduled seat capacity. According to the latest schedule data for July, Royal Air Maroc has increased its international seat capacity by less than 2% in the last year. New routes launched in the last 12 months include non-stop long-haul flights from Casablanca to Sao Paulo, and European routes from Casablanca to Munich and Tenerife North, as well as Marrakech to Gibraltar, Madrid and Milan Malpensa.
Among the leading airlines three LCCs have cut their seat capacity by more than 20%. Ryanair’s network cuts were covered in detail in last week’s anna.aero, but Air Arabia Maroc and Vueling have also cut their services. Air Arabia Maroc has mostly cut frequencies on existing routes, while Vueling has also cut some frequencies, but also withdrawn its Paris Orly-Casablanca service which was operated daily last summer. Conversely easyJet and transavia.com France have grown their Moroccan seat capacity year-on-year. easyJet has added Marrakech as a destination from three of its bases; Bristol, Nice and Toulouse, as well as from Bordeaux. transavia.com France’s capacity growth has mostly come from frequency increases on existing routes, but it has also added a new twice-weekly Strasbourg to Marrakech service on 21 April of this year. Overall seat capacity for all scheduled carriers is virtually the same as last year.