Two of Israel’s airlines launched direct flights to Morocco today. Flag carrier El Al and the country’s third-largest operator Israir both landed in Marrakesh following breakthroughs in foreign relations between Israel and Morocco.
A new climate between the nations
These launches follow a catalyzing event last December when El Al operated a special flight between Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion (TLV) Airport to Rabat-Sale Airport (RBA). The flight carried a joint US-Israeli delegation amid the process of normalising relations between Israel and Morocco.
Last year, there was a series of progressive steps when it came to peace agreements between Israel and several other nations. Notably, there were new flight paths announced and launched amid the cooling of tensions.
Moreover, the action has been continuing this month with El Al and Etihad announcing the launch of a new codeshare agreement. With this momentum, flights to Morocco from Israel now look to be the new normal.
Heading across the Mediterranean Sea
According to RadarBox.com, El Al flight LY553 left Tel Aviv at 11:21 IDT arrived at Marrakech’s Menara Airport at 15:31 WEST. The Boeing 787-9, passed over the south of Italy before approaching Morocco.
Israir flight 6H61 left Tel Aviv earlier, at 08:41 IDT. The Airbus A320-232 then touched down at Marrakech at 13:21 WEST.
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The airlines and officials of the countries are excited about these routes. They recognize the significance of such achievements.
A spokesperson for El Al shared the following with Simple Flying:
“This is an historic moment for EL AL Israel Airlines – only a few months after our two countries signed a peace accord, we inaugurated the nonstop flights to Marrakech and have planned for the flights to Casablanca to commence in the near future. Even during these difficult times for the aviation and tourism industries, we are looking towards the future and expect that the routes between Israel and Morocco will be a success.”
Meanwhile, Israel Tourism Minister Yoel Razvozov shared the following, as reported by Reuters:
“This route will help promote tourism, trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.”
Overall, both Israel and Morocco have been feeling the impact of the pandemic when it comes to tourism. Israel has had stringent travel restrictions in place following the rise of the health crisis last year. Meanwhile, Morocco usually received up to 13 million visitors per year. However, the passenger downturn caused a 53.8% loss of tourism revenue last year.
The country could receive a small boost as it expects 200,000 tourists from Israel in the first year of these direct flights. El Al concludes that th most important factor of these services is how the aviation and tourism industries are leading the way in forging peace.
What are your thoughts about these two Israeli carriers launching flights to Morocco? What do you make of the move by the two airlines? Let us know what you think of these operations and their prospects in the comment section.