Morocco may sell airline stake to major Gulf player

rocco will offer to sell a 44 percent stake in its flag carrier Royal Air Maroc (RAM) to major Gulf airlines, an official source said on Monday.

The proposal will be made during a rare tour by King Mohammed of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Jordan that starts on Tuesday.

“We will listen to their (Gulf airlines) ideas about how they see this partnership, for our part, we may propose the sale of up to 44 percent stake in RAM to the selected partner,” the source told Reuters.

RAM has seen its own financial troubles in recent years, cutting staff and upgrading its aircrafts fleet in a restructuring process aimed to mitigate losses.

In 2011, RAM took $187 million from the state to shore up finances hit by growing competition, lower sales and higher fuel prices. This government capital injection appears to correspond to the 44 percent stake the government may sell, official statistics showed.

RAM operates a fleet of more than 55 aircraft to some 83 destinations in Africa, Europe, Middle East and North America. SHOW MORE

Last Update: Monday, 15 October 2012 KSA 19:04 - GMT 16:04