Ryanair to reduce flights to Morocco
Published: July 4, 2012
Irish low-cost carrier (LCC) Ryanair (FR) will reduce flights to Morocco following disagreements with the Moroccan governmental airport authority ONDA over handling charges.
FR said that from Oct. 1 it will cancel 34 weekly flights to Moroccan airports from Spain, France, Belgium and the UK. It will stop services completely to Oujda, while reducing flights at Nador, Fez, Marrakesh and Tangier. The cancellations constitute around one-third of FR’s weekly flights to Morocco.
In a statement, FR deputy CEO Michael Cawley said the carrier had previously entered long-term agreements with the Moroccan Tourism Authority and ONDA to increase tourism to the North African nation.
However, ONDA’s decision “to impose a new monopoly handling company on Ryanair, which would have resulted in a massive increase in charges for the airline” mean it will now cut its services. He estimated this will mean 100,000 fewer tourists traveling to Morocco annually.
FR has had a combative relationship with many European airport authorities in recent years and has not hesitated to reduce services when faced with higher costs.