Against the backdrop of the global health crisis and restrictions on travel abroad, the performance of the National Airports Office (ONDA) in 2022, will not yet reach the level recorded in 2019, but should show a marked improvement over 2020 and 2021. Indeed, following the meeting of its board of directors, held Monday under the chairmanship of the Minister of Transport and Logistics, Mohammed Abdeljalil, the ONDA said in a statement that this year, “the office expects to achieve a turnover of $305.6 million (2.8 billion dirhams) based on forecasts of air traffic.”
Advancing more details in this direction, the Office said that the forecast air traffic is estimated at 14 million passengers, or 56% of traffic in 2019, and the overflight activity should be 67% of the level of 2019. These estimates are, in fact, supported by the figures provided by the Ministry of Finance. Precisely, according to the report of public institutions and enterprises (EEP) accompanying the draft law of Finance (PLF) 2022, the airports of the Kingdom should experience air traffic of 15 million passengers, or 60% of the level of the year 2019. In addition, it is noted in the same report that “for the years 2022 to 2024, air traffic should experience a gradual recovery estimated in 2022 at 60% of the level of 2019 (15 million passengers), then 80% in 2023 (20 million) before returning in 2024, a normal activity close to that of 2019 (25 million).
These statistics on domestic traffic are supported by those relating to international activity. The year 2022 will be the year of acceleration, according to the forecasts of the company specializing in global aviation data Cirium, the number of air passengers increasing steadily. As a result, global domestic flights (measured in passenger numbers) are expected to return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022. As for international passenger traffic, it should reach 2/3 of its 2019 level.
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Investments continue in the airline industry
In any case, the effects of the health crisis on travel do not slow down the National Airports Authority in its momentum, in terms of investment. It was announced, following the holding of its board of directors, that a budget of about $217,609 (2 MMDH) will be allocated to investment, 50% of which for the continued development of airport capacity.
Thus, the meeting was an opportunity to recall the main projects completed in 2021 and relating to the commissioning of the new terminal of the airport Nador El Aroui, the temporary terminal dedicated to national transport at the airport Mohammed V, as well as the beginning of the implementation of a new concept of direct routes in the Moroccan airspace and the operation of various equipment of radio navigation and communication.
2021, a year of mixed results
Regarding the achievements of the Office under the year 2021, the investment expenditure incurred amounted to $90.5 million (832 MDH) and the turnover to $217,659 (2 MMDH), a decrease of 52% compared to 2019 but an increase of 29% compared to 2020, recalled the statement. It is also specified that this performance is due, in particular, to the improvement of air passenger traffic which has reached 9.97 million, representing 40% of the traffic achieved in 2019.
The meeting was also an opportunity for the board to review the efforts made by ONDA to preserve the health and safety of staff and users of airports, during this year marked by the extension of the health crisis. And to highlight the level of availability of equipment and critical infrastructure, adding that these efforts have enabled 16 Moroccan airports to obtain the label “Airport Health Accreditation”, issued by the Airport Council International.
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First published in LES ECO.ma, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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