Royal Air Maroc will order six new planes this month

"Morocco's flag carrier Royal Air Maroc (RAM) will order six new planes this month despite the bleak outlook for business travel during the global economic downturn, its chief executive said on Thursday.

Royal Air Maroc, one of the most profitable airlines in North Africa, has plans to beef up its Boeing-dominated fleet to 50 jets, RAM chief executive Driss Benhima said.

It is benefiting from the government's policy to increase tourism to 10 million visitors by 2010 from 8 million in 2008. The government is also encouraging the expansion of air transport, including low-cost flights.

Morocco signed an Open Skies agreement with the European Union in 2006 allowing new airline competitors, including low-budget carriers such as Ryanair and easyJet.

"We will put an order for six planes. We will sign the order deal by the end of this month," Benhima told a business conference in the North African country's commercial capital Casablanca.

He gave no more details on the order, but said RAM is looking beyond this year's economic crisis to develop its business and survive the competition from European airlines."



Shrish Pandey


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