Israir and El Al operate first commercial flights from Tel Aviv to Marrakesh
More than seven months after the countries normalised diplomatic relations in a US-brokered deal, the first direct commercial flight between Israel and Morocco landed in Marrakesh this week.
Two Israeli carriers on Sunday launched nonstop commercial flights to the Moroccan city from Tel Aviv. The Israir flight departed from Tel Aviv airport first and arrived in Marrakesh early on Sunday afternoon. El Al Israel Airlines followed with its own flight three hours later.
Israir spokeswoman Tali Leibovitz said the carrier plans to operate two to three flights per week on the route, while an El Al representative said the airline plans five flights per week on Boeing 737 aircraft to both Marrakesh and Casablanca.
Israel’s third-largest carrier, Arkia, and Morocco’s Royal Air Maroc are also expected to start flights in the next month.
Israeli tourism minister Yoel Razvozov said: “This route will help promote tourism, trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.”
The arrival of the first flight in Marrakesh was also welcomed in Morocco. Adil Fakir, director of the Moroccan National Tourism Office, described it as “a crowning moment of the important decision taken by Morocco to resume relations between the two countries”.
Morocco was one of four regional states to agree to normalise ties with Israel last year, along with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan.