MIAMI – To help the country combat the COVID-19-battered tourism industry, Royal Air Maroc (AT) will add new flights connecting Marrakech (RAK), Agadir (AGA), and Dakhla (VIL) to six countries in Europe. 

Starting December 15, Morocco World News reports today that the Moroccan National Tourism Office (ONMT) and the airline will gradually add, over the next five months, more than 150,000 seats to air routes between Morocco and France (Lyon, Marseille), Germany, Spain (Madrid), Italy (Milan), Belgium (Brussels), and the UK (London).

Flights between Marrakech and the French cities will occur twice a week. There will be four flights per week to London and three flights per week to Brussels, Madrid, and Milan. Marrakech will also have four flights per week to London and three flights per week to Brussels, Madrid, and Milan. 

Agadir’s Al Massira international airport (AGA) will serve four new direct air routes to London, Brussels, Manchester, and Lyon, each with a frequency of two flights per week. The international airport in Dakhla will begin operating two flights per week to Paris. The flights represent the first air connection between Europe and Dakhla, a city in southern Morocco that separatists claim is “contested territory.”

The ONMT said it decided to open the Dakhla-Paris route with Royal Air Maroc in order to tap into the tourist niche and provide international visitors the “Moroccan experience” upon boarding in Paris.

Along with the new flights out of Marrakech, Agadir, and Dakhla, Morocco will also increase the frequencies of RAM’s Marrakech-Paris route to 10 weekly flights instead of four.

Photo: John Leivaditis/Airways

Morocco State of Emergency

While Morocco is still under a state of emergency until January 10, the country is ramping up efforts to boost tourism and business. The country suspended all international travel in March after COVID-19 cases began to emerge. The move sought to keep COVID-19 from spreading out of control, but it also significantly impacted the economy. 

After months of allowing only repatriation flights for Moroccans stranded abroad and foreign residents stuck in the country, Morocco began allowing in July Moroccan citizens, residents, and their families to arrange their own travel to the country. Then, in September, Morocco permitted the entry of tourists from visa-exempt countries as well as business people with invitations from Moroccan companies.

To further encourage tourism and business travel, Morocco also began gradually allowing non-Moroccan airlines to resume activities in the country and eased COVID-19 testing requirements. Passengers traveling to Morocco must present at check-in COVID-19 test results less than 72 hours after undergoing the PCR test.

Featured image: Tony Bordelais/Airways