Dame Covid, which has killed more than 5 million (Johns Hopkins University) since and infected more than a quarter of a billion people in two years of the pandemic, unmoved continues its collateral damage. Its repercussions are disastrous on a number of areas, including transport and more particularly on air transport.
After having believed to recover its wings in favor of a recovery thanks to a semblance of openness of the sky, world aviation in general and ours in particular transplanted the nose and this, in particular since the appearance of the last born of Lady Covid, Omicron.
What about our sky? In Morocco, the National Airports Office (ONDA) tells us, “all international commercial flights are suspended. Only domestic flights and so-called repatriation flights are operational“. This shows the dismay of the Office, whose airports operate at slow speed when they are not at a standstill, but also that of the Moroccan companies, Royal Air Maroc and Air Arabia. The latter will still operate a few repatriation flights from Morocco until December 31, 2021, but will not be able to transport passengers to the Kingdom and especially more international sky possibilities from the Kingdom until January 31, 2022. .
It is the most hopeless! this is the last NOTAM ((Notice to Airmen) or message to airmen and national air operators) published by the General Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGAC) on # 1094/21 of 12/24/2021. A nice Christmas present. Indeed, the document states that “all flights departing or arriving in Morocco were suspended with the exception of so-called technical, cargo or repatriation flights. This last category however requires the special authorization of the authorities (DTA / DGAC) with the agreement of course of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Morocco. These flights must be made with shortened stopovers and the crews must remain on board“. It should be remembered that the Executive indicated yesterday the end of repatriation flights to the Kingdom (Lisbon, Istanbul and Dubai…).
It is a real disaster that the aviation sector in Morocco is undergoing after two years of direct impact and more particularly for Royal Air Maroc which believed to see the end of the tunnel with a slight recovery at the favor of a seeming return to normal. But as if to add to his grief, the latest addition to Lady Covid Omicron was right in RAM’s selflessness to resume his natural activity. As for the C passengers (Schengen visas, PCR test, vaccination…) we have been whispered, they are allowed an escapade in favor of the last repatriation flights to other skies, but at their own risk.
Indeed, variants have changed the game for many countries. This new cold snap in the aviation sector comes as he hoped for a recovery in 2022 even if a return to the pre-Covid situation was not possible before 2024, or even 2027 depending on the area. Even before the advent of “Omicron” the International Air Transport Association (IATA) warned that European airlines would end 2021 with a loss of $ 20.9 billion, and saw them remain in the red of $ 9.2 billion. in 2022. The spread of the new variant of the coronavirus will force Lufthansa to make major changes to its winter schedule. The German carrier plans to cut them by around 33,000, Reuters reported today.
Preliminary data from the Trade Association “Airports Council International Europe” (ACI Europe) on passenger traffic in Europe indicates a one-fifth drop in passenger traffic at European airports during the three weeks following the identification of the new Omicron variant. Load factors on flights to / from these European airports are also estimated to have fallen from 66% (week 46) to 54% (week 49). That is to say the drastic losses faced by airlines.