Morocco’s airports see 2014 Q1 growth of 15.4%; easyJet and France grow while Ryanair and Vueling shrink

easyJet accounts for almost 6% of all international capacity from Moroccan airports

easyJet accounts for almost 6% of all international capacity from Moroccan airports, and has launched four new routes to Marrakech since the start of the winter season. Twice-weekly Bristol flights were launched on 14 December with the help of Kokosa the camel.

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%.

Chart - Chart - Moroccan airports traffic development Year-on-year chage in monthly passengers: 1/08 to 3/14

Source: ONDA.

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.

Chart -Top 15 airlines at Moroccan airports Change in international weekly seat capacity S14 v S13 (Share of international scheduled seat capacity in S14)

Source: Innovata / Diio Mi for w/c 14 July 2014 and w/c 15 July 2013.

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, 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 Air Arabia Maroc has mostly cut frequencies on existing routes, while Vueling has also cut some frequencies, but also withdrawn its Paris Orly-Casablanca service which was operated daily last summer.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 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. 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. France has increased its capacity to Morocco this summer by almost 50% France has increased its capacity to Morocco this summer by almost 50%, but has done this mostly by adding frequencies on existing routes. The airline’s only new Moroccan route was launched on 21 April, with twice-weekly flights between Strasbourg and Marrakech.


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