Rabat – Moroccan-born CEO Ali Ben Lmadani held a press conference on Tuesday to announce the start of ABL Aviation’s operations and its receipt of the Casablanca Finance City status. The status facilitates business operations in Morocco, providing tax incentives and other financial benefits. ABL Leasing came to Morocco in 2017 and is the first commercial aircraft leasing company in Africa. The company offers a number of services including sourcing and remarketing aircraft, leasing, aircraft technical management, and debt sourcing and restructuring. “By setting up operations in Casablanca, we aim to offer innovative solutions to African air companies as well as the unique business offering we have already achieved in the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle-East,” Lmadani said in the press conference, reports Moroccan television channel 2M.“We strongly believe in the potential of the aeronautical market on the African continent, and we consider we have the expertise and experience necessary to accompany its development,” he stated.Africa “is a region where we see huge potential” ABL Aviations said on social media. According to a 2017 – 2036 market outlook document by Boeing, air traffic for African carriers is forecast to grow 5.9% annually over the next 20 years. The number is above the world average and is driven by African economic growth and the increasing numbers of travelers from, to, and within the continent.According to Boeing, African airlines will need 1,220 new airplanes over the next 20 years to accommodate the growth.The African air market is challenging. Direct flights between countries are limited because bilateral agreements control which direct connections are available. The market also faces safety issues arising from inconsistent enforcement of international safety standards as well as challenges due to political instability. Based in Dublin, ABL Leasing also has offices in New York, Hong Kong, and Dubai.