RAM 100 Flights Cancelled in 2 Weeks as Rift with Pilots

Rabat – The rift between RAM management and pilots union has created an unending series of last-minute flight cancellations and angry customers.The Royal Air Maroc (RAM) pilots, represented by the National Association of Pilots (AMPL), have grown “inflexible” in their salary demands.RAM has called off more than 100 flights in two weeks, causing the frustration of passengers, who, despite the company’s ongoing troubles continued buying RAM tickets. Passengers hoped that the company’s trouble would not last as long as it now has, according to Moroccan newspaper L’Economiste. Since the start of the strike on July 18, RAM reportedly loses MAD 20 million daily, and the situation is “growing wayward and unmanageable.” The company is “overwhelmed and does not know what to say,” L’Economiste quoted a senior RAM managing officer as saying.The rapidly rising costs of the strike pressured RAM’s CEO Abdelhamid Abdou to call for a meeting with AMPL members on Wednesday, July 25. And while the general expectation was that a crisis recovery strategy would be found by August to avoid the grim prospect of losing the busiest and most profitable month of the summer period, the company’s pilots have recently hardened their position, claiming that RAM’s work requirements are “untenable.”An AMPL representative told Moroccan outlet Medias 24 on Tuesday, July 31, that pilots will only resume work when all their demands are met. He said that the pilots would not be lured by a crisis recovery plan that does not address all their requests. He also explained that AMPL’s position is “inflexible” and that RAM could remain paralyzed for the remaining days of the summer period.“For years we were flexible and we did not speak up, but now the situation has become unbearable,” he said. “As far as we are concerned RAM’s commercial office is the only one responsible for the ongoing disturbances at airports.”Meanwhile, RAM’s bruised reputation continues to be further affected as the company’s customers complain about long delays and last-minute changes of schedule. RAM has set up special units to inform passengers in a timely manner—a day or two before set departure time—and take care of hotel and restaurants costs for passengers of cancelled night flights. These “preventive measures are a very heavy burden on the company’s finances,” the managing officer was quoted as saying.

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