The Tunisian airline Tunisair will receive the first of five Airbus A320neos today.
These deliveries are meant to expand Tunisair’s services, a priority for the airline and the Tunisian air sector. Tunisair is a state-owned airline that holds a near-monopoly on domestic air travel.
Tunisia’s transport-related infrastructure suffered from the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, from 2010 to 2014, Tunisia fell 49 places in the World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index country rankings. Tunisair experienced losses amounting to $292.5 million from 2011 through 2017.
The Tunisian government has focused on expanding transportation infrastructure. Several proposed projects conflict with Tunisair’s financial interests. Among the new projects is an open skies agreement between Tunisia and the EU which received support in 2021. This puts Tunisair at risk, as this agreement would allow low-cost airlines to fly into Tunisia.
The purchase of aircraft points to Tunisair’s efforts to recover from past losses. Once the open skies agreement is implemented, expect Tunisair to rely on domestic flights because of increased competition, even as it increases its fleet. Collapse for Tunisair seems unlikely because it is the primary airline for domestic use. While the company may take serious losses, it will remain a mainstay of Tunisian air travel.
Wake up smarter with an assessment of the stories that will make headlines in the next 24 hours. Download The Daily Brief.
Gabbi is the Recruitment and Outrech Coordinator at Foreign Brief. She also writes for the Daily Brief where her regional focus centers on Europe and the former USSR. Gabbi's specialization is in intelligence and international law.