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Morocco aiming to turn the north African kingdom into an aviation hub

Morocco aiming to turn the north African kingdom into an aviation hub

In Morocco, there’s a concerted effort to bolster the country’s aerospace sector, aiming to leverage its $2 billion-a-year industry as part of a broader initiative to diversify the predominantly agrarian economy. This strategy involves subsidizing manufacturers of aircraft, trains, and automobiles.

Officials are particularly optimistic about the potential synergy between this endeavor and the expansion of Moroccan airlines, including the state-owned Royal Air Maroc. Abdelhamid Addou, CEO of Royal Air Maroc, emphasizes Morocco’s advantageous positioning in the global aeronautical industry amidst disruptions in the international supply chain.

Safran Aircraft Engines exemplifies this trend by sending Boeing 737s and Airbus 320s to a repair facility near Casablanca every six to eight years, catering to airlines from various countries. This French manufacturer is just one of 130 aerospace firms operating in Morocco, where the workforce includes a significant 42% female representation—a ratio surpassing that of similar industries in Europe and North America.

While some view Morocco as a source of cost-effective labor, concerted efforts have been made by both industry and government to nurture skilled workers, evident in initiatives like the Institute for Aeronautics Professions in Casablanca (IMA).

According to Mohammed Abdeljalil, Morocco’s Minister for Transport and Logistics, the country is committed to meeting investor demands for qualified human resources.

Jean-Paul Alary, CEO of Safran, underscores the importance of well-trained talent in achieving industry goals.

Despite the optimism, the aerospace sector is not without challenges. Manufacturers, including Boeing, have grappled with supply chain disruptions exacerbated by high-profile emergencies and fatal accidents. This, combined with surging post-pandemic demand, has led manufacturers to explore new production and repair locations across the globe, from eastern Europe to southeast Asia.

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