By Tom Westcott.
Tripoli, 23 January 2013:
The budget Irish airline Ryanair plans to expand into new markets in North Africa, including Libya, . . .[restrict]according to CEO Michael O’Leary.
“The new regimes 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.”
Ryanair is well-known in Europe for its ‘no-frills’ service and cut-price fares.
Lesley Kane, head of sales and marketing at Ryanair told the Libya Herald today: “We’re in discussion with over a hundred airports, including in Northern Africa, for further expansion over the next few years.”
Kane said that she was unable to comment on which airports Ryanair were negotiating with.
Asked whether the airline would principally target the business or tourism market in North Africa, Kane said: “Everybody flies with Ryanair, whether you’re somebody on business or somebody flying for pleasure.” She added that the airline’s budget airfares made it a popular choice for many travellers.
If Ryanair does start flying from Europe to Libya, the destinations would be serviced by the same 189-seat Boeing 737-800 aircraft that the airline uses on other routes. With a 298-strong fleet, it is currently one of the largest operators using the Boeing 737-800.
Ryanair already flies to Morocco and announced last week that it would be opening two new bases, at Fez and Marrakech, during 2013. “Essaouira and Rabat are also newly-announced airports that will launch at the end of March,” Kane said. [/restrict]