Ryanair to launch first non-EU bases

Low-cost Irish airline Ryanair has announced that it will be opening its first bases outside of the European Union in Morocco later this year. (Featured image is by comedy_nose)

The airline’s 56th and 57th bases will be located in Fez and Marrakech. The budget carrier also confirmed that it will be adding two new Moroccan airports, at Essaouira and Rabat, to its schedule.

A total of 15 routes will operate from Fez, including four new routes to Lille, Nantes, Nimes and St Etienne. A further 22 routes will operate from Marrakech, including seven new routes to Baden, Bergerac, Cuneo (Italy), Dole (France), Munich, Paris and Tours.

Two routes will run to Brussels and Marseille from Essaouira, while three routes to Brussels, Paris and Marseille will operate from Rabat.

Marrakech

Marrakech. Image by Luc Viatour

The changes come as Ryanair expands its operations in Morocco to 60 routes and eight airports, which is expected to deliver 2.5 million passengers each year.

Ryanair’s new Moroccan routes will begin in April and tickets for flights are already available for booking.

“The Moroccan tourism sector is very proud of the confidence Ryanair is showing in the capacity of the Moroccan destination to grow and develop to become a leading market in the Mediterranean region,” Dr. Lahcen Haddad, Minister of Tourism in Morocco.

Fez

Fez. Image by alex. lines

“This long-term commitment, as shown in the implementation of two bases in Fez and Marrakech, is the first stage of a comprehensive strategy aiming, for Ryanair, to build a profitable business based on the huge growth potential of Moroccan tourism, as planned within the framework of Vision 2020.”

Ryanair has also recently announced that it is launching routes at two new airports in Greece, Kalamata and Zakynthos, from April 2013.

One new route will fly between Kalamata and Milan, with a total of two weekly flights. Similarly, one new route will operate between Zakynthos and Brussels, with a total of two weekly flights.

Have you read our blog: 5 of the best coastal resorts in Morocco?