The Open Skies have advantages for Tunisia. They will encourage a new influx of tourists. It is in this context, that a delegation of the Ministries of Transport and Tourism will travel to Brussels from Friday, May 25, 2012 to begin open skies negotiations with the European Union.
The open skies negotiations had been postponed until the Tunisian air transport recovers, particularly after the exceptional situation experienced by Tunisia in the wake of the Revolution of January 14.
Transport and tourism professionals are, in fact, waiting eagerly as the open skies allow new foreign airlines including low cost ones to land in Tunisia and bring in their wake a new category of individual customers with new tourist expectations.
This scenario would reduce the stranglehold of tour operators on the tourism market in Tunisia. That’s why it proved necessary to complete the opening of airspace by lower airport fees. Also, this initiative will increase the number of visitors to Tunisia with an opportunity to position itself as a destination for short stay, knowing that businessmen also looks for low cost flights.
Nevertheless, the open skies are not always an ideal panacea for attracting larger flows of tourists. The objectives assigned to the voluntary opening of national skies have not always been achieved. This is the case of a comparator country such as Morocco, which has opened its sky since 2004.
This opening was not accompanied necessarily by large inflow of tourists. It has just benefited Moroccans abroad to return home. Similarly, the difficulties of Royal Air Morocco, which came close to bankruptcy late last year before being rescued at the last minute by the government, are largely due to competition from low cost airlines.
Air transport in figures!
Transportation was one of the areas visibly affected during the year of the revolution of 2011 as growth fell 7% before the new country’s leaders engaged in a major restructuring to get the sector back on track.
According to the latest figures released by the Ministry of Transport, during the first two months of the 2012, the air transport sector in Tunisia has begun to recover. Note that the global air traffic of passengers increased by 39% and aircraft traffic was up 32% compared to 2011.
The overall activity of scheduled international flights grew by 58%, unlike the irregular international flights which were down 31.3%, compared to 2011.
Air transport in Tunisia will be the subject of an upgrade to meet international standards, in the performance of the administration, security and control and the independence of air transport authorities in carrying out their duties.