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07.02.2024 By: Andreas Haug

Artikel Nummer: 48223

Atlantic partners

The ECS Group and Royal Air Maroc Cargo are a team. Routes linking the Americas and Africa don’t often play a key role in the international airfreight industry. October last year thus saw a crucial move when Royal Air Maroc (RAM), one of Africa’s largest air cargo providers, increased its services to and from the USA (see also ITJ Daily of 31 October 2023). The airline and its long-standing GSSA tell the story.

How important is the US market for your airline, Mr Berrada?

Yassine Berrada, Royal Air Maroc Cargo vice-president (YB):
Outbound services from the USA make this route our fourth most important market. This represents around 10% of our revenues. As we’re currently increasing our network and frequencies to and from the USA, the market will become even more strategic.

Ian Morgan, ECS Group commercial director for the USA (IM):
The USA is one of the most important markets to be established in. It’s central in terms of trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific trade, and also has strong connections to Canada and South America. Not to forget the USA’s inherent economic importance, of course.

Who are your main clients in trade with Morocco and North Africa?

IM: Besides the main global forwarding services providers we also work with niche forwarders that are strong in the Middle East, and with forwarders with a presence in key verticals, including pharmaceuticals, e-commerce as well as the oil and gas industry.

Adrien Thominet, ECS Group executive chairman (AT):
Collaboration between the ECS Group and RAM covers a diverse range of clients. This versatility in our cargo handling shows the adaptability and broad service offerings of both of our companies.

Where else do you collaborate?

YB: ECS and RAM have a long-standing relationship in many markets worldwide [see also page 21 of ITJ 19-20 / 2019]. On top of the US market they include Europe, Africa as well as Asia. All of these markets have a great growth potential; we’ll work hard to further deepen our relationship and fuel the overall growth of our partnership.

Why does RAM bank on the ECS Group?

YB: On account of the group’s robust global presence and skilled professional teams.

What differentiates RAM Cargo from other air cargo operators?

AT: RAM Cargo’s differentiation lies in its historical presence and reliability in the USA, coupled with its deep understanding of the African market. On top of this the airline’s cargo expertise, highlighted by its freighter ownership, puts it in a unique position.

How was business last year?

AT: The air cargo industry witnessed significant fluctuations in 2023, especially on trans-Atlantic routes. The resilience of African destinations, with stable volumes and yields, underscores how robust the ECS Group and RAM’s strategic position are. Despite global uncertainties, stability in African markets puts both companies in line for sustained success.

IM: Our partnership with RAM shows how we’ve managed to continue to develop and grow our business, without being distracted by negative factors. We jointly review where opportunities exist, and where we can strengthen our traditional key lanes. This close dialogue, mutual trust and respect creates the privilege for us to present RAM as a strong provider of airfreight solutions.

How do you see your prospects for 2024?

YB: Looking ahead to 2024 we’re optimistic that the positive developments at the end of 2023 will be reaffirmed. We acknowledge the geopolitical challenges and the dynamics of inflation and remain focused on fortifying our presence in strategic markets, demonstrating our commitment to sustained resilience and growth.

And beyond that?

YB: RAM and its shareholder, the government of Morocco, have agreed on an extensive development plan to expand our fleet from 50 aircraft to 200 by 2037, with 50 widebodies and five full-freighters. Of course, cargo operations are one of the key pillars of our strategic development initiative.


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