Thursday, January 24, 2013

► LIBYA: Ryanair in negotiations with Tunisia, Egypt and Libya over possible flights.

Irish low cost megacarrier, Ryanair (FR), has announced that it is looking at starting flights to Tunisia, Libya and Egypt "over the next few years," though any potential flights would depend on the deregulation of their own aviation industries as well as the signing of an Open Skies agreement with the European Union.

Speaking to Reuters, Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary said:
"The new regimes (in North Africa) will be seen to be delivering some growth and economic activity and I think deregulation and open skies is one of the first things those regimes are looking at,” O’Leary told Reuters, “so we’re talking to the Tunisians, the Libyans and the Egyptians.

Michael O'Leary
O'Leary (rulehibernia)
Ryanair recently announced it would open two new bases in Morocco in 2013, at Fez (No 56) and Marrakech (No 57) with Essaouira, Rabat as new airports.

The poster child for the successful liberalization and use of Open Skies is Morocco who after five rounds of negotiations, signed an Open Skies agreement with the European  Union in 2005, representing the first aviation agreement of the EU with a non-European country. As out-lined in the agreement, EU and Moroccan carriers are allowed to operate to and from any point in Morocco  and the EU without price or capacity restrictions. The  agreement also provides 5th freedom rights for both  sides. 

Despite initial ambivalence towards Open Skies, Morocco has gone on to reap its rewards with foreign visitor arrivals increasing steadily since 2002, with expected growth of 6% per annum expected until 2020.