The Kingdom’s airports should experience, in 2022, air traffic of 15 million passengers, or 60% of the level for 2019, according to the report of public establishments and enterprises (EEP) accompanying the draft finance law (PLF ) for fiscal year 2022.
“For the years 2022 to 2024, air traffic should experience a gradual recovery estimated in 2022 at 60% of the level for 2019 (15 million passengers), then at 80% in 2023 (20 million passengers) before return, in 2024, to normal activity close to that of 2019 (25 million passengers) ”, indicates this report published on the website of the Ministry of the Economy and Finance.
Morocco experienced sustained growth in air traffic during the period 2015-2019, said the same source, specifying that annually and on average, the number of passengers increased by 9%, the freight tonnage transported by 11% and the 5% hover movements.
Also, the said report recalls that in 2020, the pandemic of the new coronavirus (covid-19) severely hit the tourism sector and all the more so, the entire civil aviation ecosystem which has suffered the consequences severely. The level of activity deteriorated drastically, with the number of passengers falling by more than 71%, the number of movements by 65%, air freight by 36% and en-route traffic by 59%.
Following the decline in activity, turnover (turnover) fell by 63% to 1.58 billion dirhams (billion dirhams) in 2020. Operating income fell from 1.32 billion dirhams to -1, 37 billion dirhams. The net result fell from MAD 566 million (MDH) to MAD -1.92 billion.
To face the crisis, the National Airports Office (ONDA) has put in place a cost reduction plan and accompanying measures for its partners, in particular airlines and companies carrying out commercial activities within airports and raised loans to meet its commitments.
According to the report, the 2020 investment program was carried out at a high of 633 million dirhams on forecasts of 1.1 billion dirhams, i.e. an achievement rate of 58%.
Traffic at the end of June 2021 reached 2,473,988 passengers against 4,966,136 at the same period of the past year. The situation in 2021 continued to deteriorate due to travel restrictions that continued after the emergence of new variants of covid-19.
For the 2021 closing forecasts, turnover should reach more than 2.06 billion dirhams, up 31% compared to 2020 following the gradual resumption of international flights since June 15, 2021.
The forecast net income for 2021 is estimated at a loss of MAD 1.4 billion, while the 2021 closing forecast for investments amounts to more than MAD 1 billion.
Regarding the investment program for the period 2022-2024, the Office plans to invest 1.55 billion dirhams in 2022, 2.08 billion dirhams in 2023 and 1.83 billion dirhams in 2024 which will be dedicated, in large part, to extensions and the development of airport capacities (Rabat, Tangier, Agadir, Dakhla, Tétouan, Hoceima, etc.).
In terms of the perspective of the airport sector, it is planned to proceed within the framework of a program contract between the State and ONDA to the establishment of a new organizational model aimed, in particular, at the transformation of Office in a public limited company with the objective of strengthening management autonomy, creating conditions favorable to the acceleration of the development of the airport sector by opening it up to the private sector, through the spin-off of commercial activities and the implementation of operations partnership.