Ministry Denies Subsidies to Ryanair for Domestic Flights in Morocco

6 April 2024
Ministry Denies Subsidies to Ryanair for Domestic Flights in Morocco

In response to recent inquiries from various media outlets, the tourism ministry has affirmed that low-cost airline Ryanair has not received any financial aid or subsidies for its domestic flights within Morocco. This statement comes amidst concerns over alleged support from the Moroccan National Tourism Office (ONMT) and the potential competitive impact of Ryanair’s operations on Royal Air Maroc (RAM), the country’s national carrier.

The Ministry of Tourism, Handicrafts, and the Social and Solidarity Economy clarified that no financial assistance, in the form of subsidies or contributions, has been granted to Ryanair for its domestic flight operations in Morocco. This assertion has been made explicitly clear from the outset and remains unchanged, according to the ministry’s official communication.

Addressing the issue of competition between Ryanair and RAM, the ministry emphasized that the primary objective of partnerships in the aviation sector, including the one with Ryanair, is to foster complementarity rather than direct competition. It noted that Ryanair’s flight routes do not overlap with those of Moroccan national carriers, thereby promoting the horizontal expansion of connectivity and interregional travel.

Furthermore, the ministry highlighted the positive impact of Ryanair’s services on enhancing interconnection between Moroccan regions. Flights such as Tangier-Essaouira, Oujda-Marrakech, and Fez-Agadir contribute significantly to strengthening domestic tourism and extending the stays of foreign visitors by facilitating access to previously under-served regions.

Regarding concerns about payment methods for domestic flights, particularly in euros instead of the local currency, the ministry assured that Ryanair is actively engaged in resolving such issues, including transactions deducted from tourists’ allowances.

The ministry also took the opportunity to underscore the remarkable growth of Moroccan tourism, evidenced by the record-breaking influx of 14.5 million tourists in 2023. It emphasized the importance of maximizing air capacities in light of ambitious goals outlined in the national tourism roadmap and upcoming international events like the Africa Cup of Nations 2025 and the World Cup 2030.

Lastly, the ministry emphasized the significance of collaboration between national and international carriers, including Ryanair, in advancing Morocco’s aviation sector. It reaffirmed the government’s commitment to supporting RAM’s expansion plans, as outlined in a comprehensive program aiming to increase its fleet to 200 aircraft by 2037.

Source: map

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