North African carrier Royal Air Maroc (RAM) is to introduce two former Gulf Air Embraer E190s into its fleet this summer as it completes an in-service evaluation of the aircraft ahead of a likely order for up to ten aircraft. RAM has been considering introducing a regional jet type to its operation for the last year but has now agreed a tentative deal with Dutch ACMI provider Denim Air to fly these two aircraft on its behalf for an undetermined period. A formal contract is expected to be signed this week.
According to sources close to the African airline, there will initially be a two or three month trial of the jets before any potential order is placed with the Brazilian manufacturer. Embraer already has a sizeable orderbook for the E-Jet family and with a couple of new orders already proposed for the second half of this year holding delivery slots for 2014, it is unlikely RAM would receive any aircraft until late 2014 or early 2015.
The two E190s are currently parked at Exeter in the UK and are undergoing modification and line maintenance ahead of their delivery to Denim Air at the start of next month. The aircraft are tentatively set to enter passenger operation from the middle of the month on routes from Mohammed V International Airport in Casablanca.
RAM’s GDS schedule was updated this week to show the introduction of the aircraft to its fleet and tentatively shows a June 15, 2013 launch with a weekly rotation from Casablanca to Las Palmas. The aircraft type will also be used on routes to Berlin, Bissau, Bordeaux, Copenhagen, Strasbourg and Toulouse with between one and four rotations per week.