Fez hangs its hopes on Atlas Blue.

The Atlas Blue direct flights to Fez are set to reignite the property market. In the last week or so visitors from Britain and also Germany have been scouring the Medina for bargains. The sleeping tiger in the equation is America. Despite the credit crunch there are still a large number of Americans interested in Fez. The percentage of Americans visiting sites such as The View from Fez, has almost doubled in the last six months - a trend that looks set to continue for a while. Meanwhile with a look back at the gloomy past the Daily Telegraph reports on the impact of Ryanair's decision to quit Fez:

Frederic Sola has seen first-hand what happens when direct flights to an emerging property destination are halted. Since Ryanair stopped its route to the Moroccan city of Fez at the end of last year, Sola, who runs Fez Real Estate, has seen sales drop by more than 80 per cent.

"Last year we sold 37 riads, 27 of them to British people who wanted somewhere they could travel to directly and cheaply," says Sola. "This year we have sold six. Buyers now have to fly to Casablanca, a three-hour drive away, or via another airport such as Paris or Frankfurt." Fez may win a reprieve as Atlas Blue, Royal Air Maroc's low-cost branch, has said it will resurrect the route from December.

David and Sally Arnold, from Warwick, who paid £25,000 for an unrenovated house in the medina last year, certainly hope so. "Our next trip to Fez will take 12 hours and the return will need an overnight in Madrid," says David, 72. "The reasonably priced three-hour flight was a bonus. Now, travel to Fez is increasingly inconvenient, significantly more expensive - and it has undoubtedly diminished the interest of the UK market." Fez is a classic case of buyers piling in to a new second-home destination boosted largely by low-cost flights - then being left in the lurch when the airline changes its mind.

Fred Sola http://www.fez-realestate.com/


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