Ryanair to cut Moroccan routes

28 Jun 2012 by BusinessTraveller

Low-cost carrier Ryanair is to cut routes to and from Morocco in a row over airport charges. 

In a statement the carrier said “ONDA, the Moroccan Govt’s airports authority, has reneged on its agreement with the airline by imposing a new monopoly handling company on Ryanair which would have resulted in a massive increase in charges for the airline”.

The carrier says it will cut a total of 34 weekly flights (totalling 250,000 annual passengers) from October 1. Routes which will be cancelled include London Stansted to Fez and Valencia to Marrakech, while flights between London Luton and Marrakech will be reduced to twice weekly.

Commenting on the move Ryanair’s Deputy Chief Executive, Michael Cawley said;

“Ryanair entered into long term agreements with the Moroccan Tourism Authority and ONDA, as part of the Moroccan Govt’s 5 year plan to grow tourism. Ryanair has spectacularly over-delivered on all its undertakings under these agreements, becoming Morocco’s second largest airline and ensuring the Moroccan Govt achieved its 5 year targets within an earlier timescale.

“It is regrettable that ONDA has now lost sight of the key to the success of our partnership, offering low fares based on low costs. Ryanair cannot accept cost increases as it seeks to deliver more growth to Morocco. It is completely unacceptable for ONDA to increase the cost of Ryanair’s operation in Morocco and unrealistic for them to expect us to continue to grow our business in that context.”

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Report by Mark Caswell

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