Royal Air Maroc (AT, Casablanca Mohamed V) could become a strategic partner to the Senegalese government's start-up carrier Air Sénégal (HC, Dakar Blaise Diagne International) after the two countries pledged to expedite talks between the two sides.

The announcement comes following Moroccan King Mohammed VI's state visit to Senegal where he signed various bilateral cooperation agreements with President Macky Sall.

Should the venture go ahead, it will be the second time Royal Air Maroc has participated in a Senegalese national carrier.

In 2001, RAM acquired a 51% majority stake in then national carrier Air Sénégal International (Dakar Yoff-Léopold Sédar Senghor International) with the Senegalese government holding the remaining 49%. However, following growing losses, the Senegalese government expressed its dissatisfaction in RAM and acquired a further 26% stake in the airline thus giving it effective control. However, the downward spiral continued with Air Senegal International subsequently wound up in 2009. It was then succeeded by Senegal Airlines (Dakar Yoff-Léopold Sédar Senghor International) which, despite initial promise, also suffered from poor management decisions. It was shut down earlier this year with over USD150 million in debts.

For its part, Morocco has embarked on a wave of engagement drives with various African governments as part of its bid to rejoin the African Union thirty-two years after it left the organisation.

RAM recently signed a cooperation agreement with Air Tanzania (TC, Dar es Salaam) which will see the launch of direct Casablanca Mohamed V-Dar es Salaam flights which Air Tanzania will codeshare on.