Everything seemed to be normal and was going as planed until the woman decided to go into labor... making this flight anything but routine. The flight's captain contemplated requesting the flight to be redirected to the nearest airport in order to provide the pregnant woman with the medical care she could need as soon as possible. Having already given birth on the sky, given that her condition and that of her baby's were normal and stable, and that the flight crew along with a passenger nurse, were providing needed assistance, the captain decided to continue on to the initial final destination.
Upon arrival and immediately after touch down, an ambulance that was awaiting the new born baby and the mother took them and rushed them to Jamaica Hospital in Queens. Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said that the mother gave birth to her new baby just after 3 pm.
The nationality of the new born is unclear at the moment. Identifying it will require undoubtedly involvement of few lawyers. US, Moroccan, and international laws will have to be examined to sort this matter out. Precedence could prove very useful.
According to a government document, Morocco intends to privatize Royal Air Maroc (RAM), the nation’s flag carrier, and its two subsidiaries Atlas Blue and Atlas Hospitality Morocco, along with eight other state-owned companies.
"This legislative measure underlines the continuation of the privatization process in view of the gradual opening up of the economy via total or part sale to private investors of state firms," Reuters reported based on a document it received.
This announcement was attached as a draft entitled "Highlights of the draft law authorizing the transfer of state enterprises to the private sector" accompanying the government’s 2009 draft budget law.
It was disclosed in the same statement that highway company ADM, real estate firm al Omrane, transport and logistics company SNTL, leisure and transport company Supratours, audiovisual company Soread, engineering company LPEE, and maritime consulting firm CID make up the other seven businesses.
It also pointed out that "these companies would benefit from their privatization because the goal of the sell-off is to perpetuate their existence and mid-and-long term development" and that "the privatization of these enterprises would be an opportunity for them to be more free to develop business on equal footing with their competitors in the private sector," according to the text.
This is considered by experts as potentially the biggest privatization move in Morocco since the 1990s when large state assets like the firm Maroc Telecom, now controlled by the French group Entertainment Vivendi, was privatized.
Considered one of the most profitable airlines in North Africa, RAM intends to acquire 29 more new Boeing jets at a cost of two billion dollars thereby its fleet to 43 jets between 2007 and 2013.
Keen to increase vacationers in Morocco from 7.4 last year to 10 million by 2010, the government is encouraging air transport expansion including low-cost flights such as Ryanair and easyJet by signing an Open Skies agreement with the European Union in 2006.
According to the same draft, the government did not disclose a privatization schedule because the companies to be privatized are profitable and financially sound. The latter characteristic was among the primary reasons for the announced sell-off.
Morocco's main business daily L'Economiste quoted on Wednesday An unnamed government source was quoted as stating to the Moroccan business daily L’Economiste on Wednesday that privatization will be completed "within one year, at the earliest".
The proposed sell-off of RAM particularly does not come as a surprise given the unfavorable reputation it has with some of its Moroccan contingent travelers especially those living abroad. The news of this move may come to them as a tune since RAM has been subject to much criticism about its customer service.
Historically, privatization has been a favorable undertaking for the most part. The only element necessary to guarantee efficient RAM operation is competition. The government seems to be addressing that thus the future looks bright for RAM and its customers.
Sharjah-based low cost carrier Air Arabia’s launch of a hub in Morocco with a dedicated fleet of A320s is “very imminent”, according to the airline’s chief executive officer.
“We don’t have a firm date yet, but it is likely to be at the end of this year or early 2009,” Adel Ali said on Sunday.Air Arabia announced, at the end of last year, that it would establish a hub in Morocco’s capital Rabat, providing a platform to reach Europe, Africa and those parts of the Middle East beyond it’s reach in Sharjah. Air Arabia operates 15 Airbus A320 with 49 on order.
Ali said four were being delivered per year but it was likely to place an order for more A320s for the Morocco hub, which will require it’s own fleet and aircraft.
He said Air Arabia would also look at leasing planes to fill any gap or delays of delivery.“We’ll need more aircraft for Morocco and we’ll stick with the A320s as we’re happy with them.” “It’s always a good option to have a mix of leasing or purchasing.”
The airline has already signed a management agreement of Morocco’s leading private carrier Regional Air Lines, as part of its hub plans. While Ali recognised that high oil prices had put pressure on airlines worldwide, he said Middle East airlines had benefited from the economic boom that came with high oil prices.
Despite a “challenging year” for the airline with fuel prices and the economic downturn, Ali said the carrier expected “reasonably good profits” and it’s expansion plans and aircraft orders were on track.
“While oil does put pressure on us, Air Arabia has a strong balance sheet,” Ali said.“Middle Eastern economies are good and people are still traveling in this region.”He denied concern regarding the competition posed by low cost carrier FlyDubai.
“One more airline will bring more business. There are already ten – they’ll be eleven. They have to work hard as well.” Air Arabia established Nepal as its second hub in January with majority-owned Nepalese unit FlyYeti.com.
However, services ceased due to a change of government and there is no date set for the services to resume.“The challenge was a change of administration. We weren’t sure of the new policies. We just want to make sure it’s all addressed before we go back in there,” added Ali.
RAM blames its pilots for the “exceptional” delays
The delays were attributed to the unavailability of striking pilots.
RAM says, its pilots, who are battling the management, are the cause of repeated and extended delays that RAM passengers are not about to forget.
July and August, the peak of air traffic, have been marred by disturbances due to pilots refusal to fly, a movement initiated by the Moroccan Association of Airline Pilots (AMPL).
To cope with the situation, the airline said that it has leased two aircraft with crews and was able to ensured all scheduled flights during the 2008 summer season.
On average, RAM has provided about 160 flights per day to various destinations on its networks.
The company said that it has also increased its staff at the airport Mohammed V, particularly its customer service staff has increased by 20% in July and 27% in August.
However, in August, the number of passengers carried fell by 1% over the same period of 2007, which was a historical record. It stood at 582,138 passengers, a figure which makes August 2008 the second month of record monthly traffic for the company.
From November 2007 through August 2008, RAM has transported 4.4 million passengers, a figure up 7% over the same period last year.
Overbooking and lost luggage
Passengers set Royal Air Maroc Plane on fire to protest delays
Tension where such that five passengers set fire inside the airplane and violently mishandle the plane crew who did no offer any information to the passengers about the extended delay.
The pilot had to make an emergency landing at Barcelona airport, where the offending five passengers where held by the police as investigation of the incident proceeded.
Big fright at RAM Plane
According to a bulletin printed Wednesday, July 16th, at Morocco daily L'Economiste,a Royal Air Maroc flight between Agadir & Casablanca, the plane made a brutal change of course that caused a big fright among the passengers.
According to a bulletin printed Wednesday July 16th at Moroccan daily L'Economiste, a Royal Air Maroc flight between Agadir & Casablanca, the plane made a brutal change of course that caused a big fright among the passengers.
During the plane descent towards the Casablanca Mohamed V Airport, suddenly, the pilot changed course and pointed the plane towards the sky in a sudden maneuver to gain quick altitude.
the frightened passengers thought that the pilot has just missed hitting something and that their life was in danger.
The plane later made a second attempt and landed safely.
As usual, and in line with Royal Air Maroc's notorious "customer service", the pilot did not bother to offer any explication to his passengers and remained silent during the rest of the flight.
When exiting the passengers complained to the crew about the lack of explication. Some passengers suggested that they might take their complaints elsewhere, "Go ahead, write about it ! " was the disdainful answer from the pilot!
This makes one wonder about the internal labor relations at Royal Air Maroc and its incidence on company operations safety.