Israel’s El Al Airlines and Israir Airlines made their first direct flights to Morocco’s tourist city of Marrakech.
A statement was made by Israeli Tourism Minister Yoel Razvozov regarding this development within the scope of the normalization agreement signed between Rabat and Tel Aviv in December 2020 through the mediation of the US.
“This route will help develop tourism, trade, and economic cooperation between the two countries,” Razvozov said.
Israel’s public airline company El Al Airlines, which closed last year with great losses due to the pandemic, announced that it will organize 5 flights a week to Morocco with Boeing 737 planes.
Israir Airlines will operate 2 flights a week to Marrakech.
Moroccan airline company Royal Air Maroc and Israel’s Arkia companies are also expected to launch direct flights between the two countries next month.
In her statements in March, Moroccan Tourism Minister Nadia Fettah Alavi announced that they expect 200,000 Israeli tourists this year, with the start of direct flights between the two countries. Before the pandemic, Morocco hosted 13 million tourists annually.
Low-level relations between Rabat and Tel Aviv started after the Oslo Agreement was signed between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israel in 1993, but Morocco stopped these relations in 2002 after the outbreak of the 2nd Intifada.
Moroccan King Mohammed VI announced on December 10, 2020, that relations with Israel would be established “as soon as possible.” On the same day, US President Donald Trump announced that Morocco and Israel had reached an agreement to establish full diplomatic relations.
Morocco and Israel signed 4 agreements on December 22, 2020, within the scope of the normalization of diplomatic relations.
Following the agreement to normalize relations between Tel Aviv and Rabat last year, Israel appointed former Cairo Ambassador David Govrin as the interim head of the diplomatic mission to Morocco on January 11.