By Winston Shek
Ryanair Announces Its Third African Base in Agadir, Morocco
On Thursday, Ryanair announced its third base in Africa out of its more than 80 bases in the continent and across Europe. Its new base is located in Agadir, Morocco, where the low-cost carrier plans to base two aircraft as an investment of $200 million.
We are delighted to open our new base in Agadir, which represents an investment of $200 million at Agadir airport, our third Moroccan base,” Ryanair CEO Eddie Wilson said in a statement. “We have enjoyed an excellent partnership with this airport since our very first flight from Agadir in 2008 and we are very happy to continue to grow in the region after 13 years of success.”
As part of the new base, Ryanair plans to add 60 new jobs at the airport and start 16 new routes to seven European countries. During the winter 2021-2022 season, the European low-cost airline intends to operate 55 departing flights and 25 routes to 10 countries.
“With 25 destinations to choose from this winter, including 16 new lines, our passengers will be spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing their sunny winter vacation in Seville, Alicante or Naples or a city break in Bologna, Toulouse or Barcelona,” Wilson added.
From Spain, Ryanair will offer flights to six new destinations, including Alicante, Barcelona, Madrid, Malaga, Seville and Tenerife via Tenerife’s South Airport. Meanwhile, from France, the airline offers five destinations, including flights to Bordeaux, Marseille, Nantes, Paris and Toulouse.
Additionally, Ryanair intends to offer four destinations in Italy, including Bologna, Milan, Naples and Rome via Ciampino Airport. From Germany, the low-cost carrier will offer three destinations, including Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden.
Other destinations include Vienna; Brussels; Dublin; Krakow; Poland; Porto, Portugal; Manchester; U.K. and London via Stansted Airport.
“As Morocco has the most effective vaccination campaign in Africa, we want to continue to support the economic recovery as well as the regional and international connectivity of Morocco and position Agadir as a leading winter destination, with superb hotels, restaurants, golf courses in the new Quarter of Taghazout and more,” Wilson noted.
The CEO of the Morrocan National Tourist Office, Adel el Fakir is excited about the move.
“We are delighted with this new cooperation aimed at developing the connectivity of Agadir,” he said. “Indeed, the opening of this new Ryanair base will allow many travelers from our strategic markets to discover Agadir, always sunny, its world-class beaches, its wonders, its hinterland and of course the new district of Taghazout, a hotspot for golf, surfing and yoga retreats. Thanks to our remarkable relationship with Ryanair, together we aspire to strengthen Agadir’s success among the best destinations in the world.”
Agadir’s position close to Europe and potential as a Morrocan tourist destination has allowed other European carriers to add flights. According to RoutesOnline, Air France and Aeroflot have added routes to Paris and Moscow, respectively, during the summer. Additionally, TAP Air Portugal expanded its route network to include Agadir, Morocco, in an extensive route network expansion.
Amid the pandemic, Ryanair has bounced back, tripling the number of passengers it carried in June. Its new base in Agadir is part of its focus on ski destinations and sunny destinations for its winter schedule. For example, last month, the airline launched a base in Turin, Italy, a popular ski destination. It also launched a flight to Zagreb, the capital of Croatia.