Morocco & Israel to Launch Direct Flights Include Plans to Expand International Tourism

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Morocco & Israel Launch Direct Flights to Morocco

Moroccan Minister of Tourism, Handicrafts, and Air Transport Nadia Fettah Alaoui announced that direct flights between Morocco and the Jewish state of Israel are estimated to launch in April 2021.

“The signing of agreements, which took place in December 22nd, 2020 between the Kingdom of Morocco and the State of Israel is part of a will to re-establish regular air routes between the two countries in 2 to 3 months,” said Nadia Fettah Alaoui, according to a report by the country’s official Moroccan new agency MAPNEWS. “We welcome all Israeli tourists who want to come to Morocco,” she added.

On Tuesday, the Israeli-American delegation landed in Moroccan capital Rabat on the first, now historic, commercial flight between Israel and Morocco.

Before take-off of the flight from Tel Aviv to Rabat, Kushner made the remark that a similar flight from Israel to the UAE after the normalization agreement was reached, triggered a massive wave of Israelis traveling to the Gulf. He said the flight to Rabat may have similar “momentum.”

The first flight of its kind since Morocco and Israel agreed to resume diplomatic relations carried a high-level US-Israeli delegation. Senior US Advisor Jared Kushner and Israeli National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat co-led the delegation.

During their visit to Rabat, the delegation met with King Mohammed VI to sign several bilateral agreements with Morocco, in addition to a joint declaration that officially re-established the Moroccan relationship with Israel. One of the Morocco-Israel agreements is for establishing regular direct flights between the two countries.

Alaoui stated that both sides have shown “great enthusiasm” in regards to directs flights soon becoming available. She pointed out that 40,000-50,000 Jewish visitors come to Morocco on a yearly basis already. Over 1 million Jews of Moroccan origins live in Israel.

In a previous statement to the Israeli press, Fettah Alaoui announced that Morocco expects the number of visitors from Israel to grow from 45,000 per year to 200,000. Israelis have already visited Morocco as part of organized tours, traveling through third countries, but will now arrive to Morocco individually and have an easier time obtaining visas.

“These tourists will continue to come and return to Morocco and show it to other countries,” Alaoui said. Alaoui noted that her ministry has issued a study to have a better understanding of the Israeli tourism market. “We are also working, in this sense, with associations to be able to train and prepare more tourist guides,” she added.

Morocco is home to the largest Jewish community, about 3,000 Jews remain in Morocco. The Casablanca Jewish community is one of the country’s most active.  Israel is also home to Jews of Moroccan origin given the historical migration that was organization when Israel became a state after World War II in 1948.

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