Royal Air Maroc preparing tender for Boeing 737 replacement

A Royal Air Maroc Boeing 737-800 in its old livery. Photo: © Jakob Wert / IFN

Royal Air Maroc is preparing to add new aircraft in the future. The airline is looking to launch a tender to find a replacement for its existing 737 fleet.

Its fleet currently consists of almost 40 Boeing 737, all but two being 737 NG. Due to the pandemic, only 27 Boeing 737-800 and one 737 Max 8 are active at the moment. Royal Air Maroc was originally due to receive four Boeing 737 Max 8, but the company decided to cancel two of them. It no longer has any outstanding aircraft orders.

Speaking to International Flight Network on Thursday, 17th March, Royal Air Maroc Chairman of the Board and CEO Abdelhamid Addou said that the airline will open a tender for a 737 NG replacement next year. He indicated that it is not certain the company would ‘automatically’ pick the Boeing 737 Max over the competing Airbus A320neo, even though it already operates two Max planes. At an earlier press conference on the same day, the CEO said there are currently no plans to order more Boeing 737 Max.

The airline removed a total of ten aircraft from its fleet during the Covid-19 pandemic, consisting of seven that were sold to cut costs and three where leasing contracts were not extended. Royal Air Maroc became the first African member of the Oneworld alliance in 2020 amid the pandemic.

It specializes in offering transfer connections to various west and central African destinations. Since it is the only African member, Royal Air Maroc serves as the Oneworld hub on the continent. The airline says the alliance is proving to be helpful in expanding its international market share among transfer passengers. It is looking to further expand its African connections and return to pre-pandemic levels within the next two to three years.