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BMM-2005-01 VISION 2010
Established and started operations in 2004. Domestic & international, scheduled & charter, low-cost, passenger & cargo, jet airplane services.
PO Box 440
MOROCCO (KINGDOM OF MOROCCO), COVERS AN AREA OF 446,550 SQ KM, ITS POPULATION IS 32 MILLION, ITS CAPITAL CITY IS RABAT, AND ITS OFFICIAL LANGUAGE IS ARABIC.
May 2004: Royal Air Maroc (RAM) established a low-cost subsidiary called "Atlas Blue" (BMM) operating scheduled and charter, jet airplane services from Marrakesh and Agadir to destinations in Europe.
Will wet-lease 737-4B6's to (BBM) to start operations.
August 2004: 737-4B6 (1880-24807, CN-RMF), Royal Air Maroc (RAM) wet-leased to its new low-cost subsidiary Atlas Blue (BMM), based at Marrakesh.
September 2004: Royal Air Maroc (RAM) launches low-cost subsidiary Atlas Blue (BMM) from Marrakesh with 3 737-4B6's. Operates on behalf of Etapes Nouvelles to France. +5 737-4B6's will be transferred from (RAM) in 11/04, to expand the network to the UK, Belgium, Germany, & Italy.
Next February , Atlas Blue (BMM), Marrakech - Toulouse (2/week).
Atlas Blue (BMM) will deploy Lufthansa (DLH) Systems' FlexLine to handle its sales processes. Will also implement Lufthansa Systems' new B2B sales modules.
October 2004: 4 737-4B6's (24808; 26529; 26530; 26531) transferred to Atlas Blue (BMM).
January 2005: Royal Air Maroc (RAM) announced creation of an A320 and 737 Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) subsidiary called Aerotechnic Industries to be based at Marrakech-Menara. (RAM)'s initial investment of MAD70 million/$7.5 million will be directed largely toward the construction of an 11,000-sq m hangar with room for two airplanes. Group President & General Manager, Mohamed Berrada said the new company will create approximately 100 jobs and will be "part of the framework centering around the policy of development of national tourism." Head of the production planning and control department at (RAM)'s Centre Industriel Aeronautique, Youssef Jroundi, was named General Manager of Aerotechnic.
March 2006: A321-211 (2726, CN-ROF), Royal Air Maroc (RAM) leased, delivery.
April 2006: Atlas Blue (BMM) is a low-cost subsidiary of Royal Air Maroc (RAM) operating scheduled and charter, jet airplane services from Marrakesh and Agadir to destinations in Europe.
Parent organization/shareholders: Royal Air Maroc (RAM) (99.99%); private investors (0.01%).
Alliances: Royal Air Maroc (RAM).
Employees: 167 (including 32 Flight Crew (FC), 98 Cabin Crew, & 37 Maintenance Technicians (MT)).
(IATA) Code: 8A - 380. (ICAO) Code: BMM (Callsign - ATLAS BLUE).
Main Base: Marrakesh Menara (RAK).
International, scheduled destinations: Amsterdam; Bordeaux; Brussels; Geneva; London; Lyons; Milan; Nice; & Toulouse.
SITA said it won a five-year, $5.6 million contract from the Moroccan National Office of Airports to install and maintain AirportConnect CUTE, "a state-of-the-art Information Technology (IT) system for managing busy airport environments," at the country's main airports in Casablanca, Agadir and Marrakech.
May 2006: 737-85P (33979, CN-ROJ), Royal Air Maroc (RAM) wet-leased delivery (see photo), the start of its plan to expand its fleet to 24 airplanes by 2012. The Low Cost Carrier (LCC), launched in 2004 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Royal Air Maroc (RAM), operates six 737-400s on international services from Marrakech and Agadir to destinations across Europe.
August 2006: Lufthansa (DLH) Systems signed with Atlas Blue (BMM) for provision of the ProfitLine/Yield Rembrandt revenue management solution.
September 2008: Pilots (FC) at state-owned, Royal Air Maroc (RAM) remain locked in a tense struggle with management over pay and work conditions. Among the topics of contention are moves to push
more flying to the carrier’s lower-cost Atlas Blue (BMM) unit.
June 2009: Royal Air Maroc (RAM) will pull its own low-cost brand Atlas Blue (BMM) and launch a regional airline as part of its strategy to fend off competition from no-frills carriers that has increased since the 2006 signing of the "open skies" agreement between Morocco and the European Union (EU). "We cannot get rid of this competition. We have to face it. We will reinforce our position as a legacy carrier and develop our hub network from Casablanca," (RAM) President, Driss Benhima said at the Paris Air Show.
(RAM) signed a firm contract for four ATR72-600s and two ATR42-600s, plus options for two more ATR72-600s, at Le Bourget. The new turboprops will be operated by Royal Air Maroc Express, the new regional subsidiary set to be launched in the coming weeks and created in cooperation with the Moroccan government.
Since deliveries of the newly ordered ATRs will not start until 2011, RAM is leasing four ATR72-200s from the manufacturer. "Our new regional carrier will enhance the air connectivity between Moroccan towns and reinforce their appeal to tourists. But there is also a growing domestic demand," Benhima said. "We will operate high frequencies to increase the attractiveness of the offer."
(RAM) Express will base at Casablanca and connect to (RAM)'s medium- and long-haul networks. (RAM) is adding two 767-300ERs this year and in November 2005 placed an order for five 787s. The 787 Dreamliner delay is "a problem," Benhima said.
Atlas Blue (BMM), which commenced operations in July 2004, will remain a point-to-point operator mainly between Marrakech and European cities but it will fly under the (RAM) brand. It will offer complimentary on board catering and its 737s will be fitted with business class (C). "It will be sort of a (RAM) light," Benhima said.
October 2009: Atlas Blue (BMM) ceased operations and its jet airplane fleet was re-absorbed into parent, Royal Air Maroc (RAM)'s fleet.
July 2010: Royal Air Maroc (RAM) and TUI Travel (TUG) signed a letter of intent stipulating that (RAM) will take a majority stake in Jet4You (J4U), TUI Travel (TUG)'s Moroccan low-cost/charter carrier.
(J4U) operates 175-seat 737-400s and 189-seat 737-800s on a network spanning seven Moroccan airports and 12 European cities, mainly in France but also including Barcelona, Geneva and Brussels South Charleroi. It has been 100%-owned by TUI (TUG) since 2008.
"The intention of any transaction is to build on the (J4U) market position as a low-cost hybrid carrier and its independent profile,” the two companies said in a joint statement, adding, “as and when any transaction is agreed a further statement will be issued.” According to Moroccan media, (RAM) would acquire two-thirds of the share capital of (J4U).
(RAM) noted that the agreement is “part of the contribution to the enhancement of tourist flows to Morocco, and it’s a good fit to the business strategy of the company that aims at providing more travel options to its customers.”
(J4U) was established in 2005 by a group of Moroccan private investors and TUI (TUG), holding respectively 60% and 40% of the share capital, as a competitor to Atlas Blue (BMM), (RAM)’s Low Cost Carrier (LCC). (RAM) integrated Atlas Blue (BMM) into its mainline operations last year but apparently sees the need to re-establish an independent (LCC).
The Moroccan government in December 2006 signed an "open skies" agreement with the European Union (EU), removing all capacity restrictions between the (EU) and Morocco and thus opening the market for unrestricted services to the country by European (LCC)s, including Ryanair (RYR) and easyJet (EZY). The Air Arabia (ABZ) Group also operates an (LCC) in Morocco, Air Arabia Maroc (AAM), which is based in Casablanca and launched operations in April 2009. It offers services to 11 European destinations. (J4U) has its main base at Casablanca as well.