Air Algérie and Tassili Airlines are set to enjoy further government protection after Algeria’s Minister of Transport Amar Ghoul last week rejected calls to open the country’s airspace up to private carriers.
Speaking in Algiers at a forum organized by Radio Chaine 1, Ghoul said any shift in government policy would require an extensive study into the competitiveness of the two state-backed carriers. Thereafter, Algiers would also have to consider protecting the country’s national interests.
“The Government is poised to define specifications, measures, and regulations thereunder, before opening its airspace to private players,” he said.
Successive governments have rejected not only the immediate prospect of a more liberalized domestic playing field, but also that of Open Skies with Europe claiming any such treaties would ultimately put the two carriers under duress. However, critics have pointed to neighbouring Morocco where despite initial fears that its 2006 Open Skies treaty with Europe would result in the demise of Royal Air Maroc (AT, Casablanca Int’l), RAM is now set to post a profit this year following successive fiscal losses.
In a bid to strengthen Air Algérie’s position and turn it into a profitable institution, Algiers has announced a drastic restructuring programme aimed at modernizing and upgrading the carrier’s operational hierarchy as well as services.
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