We said they would!!! Ryanair’s Moroccan bases confirmed

We said they would!!! Ryanair’s Moroccan bases confirmed.

We backed the right camel at Ryanair with three aircraft to be based in Morocco this year. Our next wager is on Lisbon and Santander becoming bases 58 and 59.

Earlier this week, anna.aero predicted the future, telling its readers that Ryanair’s next two bases would be in Morocco. Today the airline has announced just that, with two aircraft to be based in Marrakech and one in Fez. However, the normally aggressive Ryanair has definitely taken more opportunistic stance on its additional services from the two airports, with a considerable lack of competition across most of its new routes.

We also suggested where the airline may look to add new routes; from Marrakech to Scandinavia and more capacity into France – however, the Irish low-cost carrier is to start new routes to Baden, Bergerac, Cuneo, Dole, Munich, Paris (Vatry) and Tours. It has not been tempted into the domestic market, with Casablanca currently boasting the highest weekly frequency and seat capacity from Marrakech – suggesting that this market was “out of bounds” in terms of the deal with Moroccan airports authority ONDA.

Ryanair Route Competing Airline and Airport (WF)
Karlsruhe/Baden No competition
Bergerac No competition
Cuneo (Turin) No competition
Dole No competition
Munich Royal Air Maroc (2)
Paris (Vatry) Royal Air Maroc – ORY (12), Ryanair – BVA (4), Jetairfly – ORY (7), Transavia France – ORY (9), easyJet – CDG (8)
Tours No competition
Source: Innovata Apr 13

Paris represents one of only two new markets where there will be any significant competition from Marrakech – including itself at Beauvais (171 km away by air from Paris Vatry), given its own very loose definitions of which airports serve which cities. Ryanair’s new operation to Paris Vatry will provide some more indirect competition to the combined 28 weekly services offered by Royal Air Maroc, Jetairfly and Transavia France to Paris Orly on the south side of the city.

New regional France routes

For Fez, our analysis concluded re-starting London Stansted, Madrid, more flying to France as well as Scandinavia. The reality is that it has chosen to concentrate its efforts in regional France with new routes to Lille, Nantes, Nimes and St. Etienne.

Ryanair Route Competing Airline and Airport (WF)
Lille No competition
Nantes No competition
Nimes Air Arabia Maroc – MPL (2),  Ryanair – MRS (4)
St. Etienne (Lyon) No competition
Source: Innovata Apr 13

As Nimes sits geographically in between Montpellier (just 41km away by air) and Marseille (74km), the capital of the Gard department in the Languedoc-Roussillon region has been assumed as being a competing service for any operations from Fez to either destination. Notably, on this basis, Ryanair’s new Nimes operation will compete with its own four times weekly Marseille service, as well as Air Arabia Maroc’s twice weekly Montpellier schedule. The remaining three routes will have no direct or indirect competition at this time.

We do make mistakes too! It was incorrectly suggested by anna.aero that this base decision by Ryanair would represent the first base outside of Europe by any European low-cost airline. Our readers have quite correctly told us via the anna.aero website that Jetairfly already has bases in Morocco, with two aircraft based in Marrakech and one in Casablanca. However, we are prepared to put our necks on the line and say that Lisbon and Santander are expected to be Ryanair bases 58 and 59, with announcements already being planned.

New route? New airline? Email us! Let's all celebrate your new routes. Please send photos and route details to James Davis, anna.aero's Assistant Editor. Contact James.


  1. I believe the agreement that Morocco has signed with the EU is similar to the one between Switzerland and the EU. It allows any EU and Morrocan carrier to operate between Morocco and other EU countries as they wish but domestic flights within the EU are off limits for Moroccan carriers and vice versa. For example, Darwin had to request traffic rights for domestic flights in Italy from what I know which Ryanair can just start as and when they like.

  2. JdeG says:

    Lisbon won’t be a base until at least 2014. This YouTube movie is on the subject: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_sRQpS5ThE. Press conference with Michael O’Leary. Who has a source on the Santander base?

Comments are closed