Royal Air Maroc to Celebrate 60 Years in the Sky

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Photo credit: Bob Adams
Photo credit: Bob Adams

Founded in 1957, Royal Air Maroc is quickly approaching its 60th birthday, and the airline has come a long way in six decades. Royal Air Maroc, commonly known as RAM, is Morocco’s national carrier and the nation’s largest airline. Headquartered at Casablanca-Anfa Airport, the airport connects Morocco with the rest of the world. 

Airline History

The Royal Air Maroc airline was formed in 1953 due to the merging of Air Atlas and Air Maroc. The airline took to the skies with five DC-3 aircraft, four Commando aircraft, six Bretagne aircraft and two Languedoc aircraft. The aircraft serviced flights that the previous two airlines were flying.

However, it wasn’t until 1957 that the Royal Air Maroc name was acquired, and by the next year, the airline was operating a fleet of 16 aircraft. Less than 10 years later, the airline had 758 employees and was offering flights throughout North Africa, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Switzerland. Royal Air Maroc’s first Boeing order was placed in 1969.

Photo credit: abdallahh
Photo credit: abdallahh

The airline’s Boeing fleet expanded rapidly over the next several years, and by 1975, the company owned 11 Boeing 707 aircraft as well as four Caravelle aircraft, four Boeing 727-200s and two SIAI Marchetti SF260s. Weekly non-stop flights to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, started the very same year.

The 1980s and ’90s saw even more expansion for the Moroccan airline. By 1980, the company employed 3,583 people, and the fleet consisted of entirely Boeing aircraft. In July 1986, the airline set a record with a nonstop flight between Seattle and Casablanca aboard the Boeing 757. Royal Air Maroc was the first African airline to fly this Boeing Aircraft.

More Boeing aircraft were added to the fleet in the 1990s as the last of the Boeing 707s were relieved of duty. New routes to more African airports were developed, and the airline purchased a Boeing 747-400 to fine tune its North American operations.

Photo credit: BriYYZ
Photo credit: BriYYZ

The turn of the century brought an order of 20 Boeing 737 Next Generation aircraft as well as an order for four Airbus 321 aircraft. In 2004, the airline announced that it would move its head office from Casablanca to the Nouaceur Province, near Mohammed V International Airport. MAP, the official state news agency, said that the construction of the headquarters and a 500-room conference hotel would take 1 year and 6 months.

Looking Toward the Future

In 2006, the European Union and Morocco signed an open skies agreement, opening up the skies to more low-cost airlines. While this could present difficulties for the Royal Air Maroc airline, the Moroccan-government-owned airline looks forward to flying travelers throughout North Africa, Europe and beyond with its newest generation of Boeing, Airbus and Embraer aircraft.

About the Author: Courtney McCaffrey

Courtney McCaffrey is a travel writer and editor based in Wilmington, N.C, Mexico and around the world. In addition to writing, she lives for travel - seeing new places, experiencing new cultures and surfing new waves.

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