Ryanair, an Ireland-based low cost airline, has announced the cancellation of weekly flights to Morocco, which took effect June 28, 2012.
Ryanair has reported that ONDA, the airports authority that is owned by the Moroccan government, has backed down on an agreement with the airline and will be working with a new handling company, which will increase the airline’s charges.
The airline has announced the cancellation of eight weekly flights to Nador, six weekly flights to Fez, eight weekly flights to Marrakech, four weekly flights to Tangier, and the closure of its operations at Oujda Airport.
The airline deputy chief executive, Michael Cawley, said, ‘Ryanair entered into long term agreements with the Moroccan Tourism Authority and ONDA, as part of the Moroccan governments 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 government’s 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.
Consequently I regret to announce that we are making these substantial reductions which will result in up to 100,000 less tourists annually and an annual loss in tourism expenditure and job losses for the Moroccan economy of EUR50m.’