Seven months after Israel and Morocco normalized relations, El Al and Israir both launched their first direct Tel Aviv-Marrakesh flights during a ceremony.
Direct flights between Israel and Morocco began Sunday, seven months after the 2 countries officially signed an agreement to normalize relations.
El Al and Israir both launched their First flights to Marrakesh on Sunday with a ceremony marking the historic flights.
Jerusalem and Rabat agreed to normalize relations last December following the Abraham Accords. The agreement followed similar ones with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan.
On December 22, the first-ever flight between the 2 countries carried an American and Israeli delegation led by then-White House senior adviser Jared Kushner. Sunday’s flights marked the start of normal aviation for commercial passengers.
Israir’s flight left Israel at 8:15 a.m., with stewardesses wearing traditional Moroccan garb and Moroccan foods served on board. Supermarket magnate Rami Levy was among the passengers.
The El Al flight that took off at 11:20 a.m. was decorated with Moroccan flags and carpets.
“We still build infrastructure and make tourism anchors which will promote tourism to Israel once we defeat the coronavirus,” said Tourism Minister Yoel Razvozov. “The Israel – Morocco route is a crucial and significant line which will help promote tourism, trade and economic and political cooperation agreements between the 2 countries. All of those will enrich the state coffers and help our war on the value of living.”
Flights to Marrakesh’s Menara Airport take about five and a half hours and begin at $500 per ticket. El Al and Israir will each offer three flights per week.
Arkia is scheduled to launch flights between Tel Aviv and Marrakesh on August 3, and Royal Air Maroc, Morocco’s official carrier, also will begin flights within the coming month.
El Al and Israir also are expected to start two flights every week to Casablanca starting August 10, for a complete of 5 weekly round-trip flights to the country for every company.
Many Israelis are looking forward to visiting what was once a crucial Jewish center. quite 300,000 Jews emigrated from Morocco to Israel between 1948 and 1964 and there are now 1,000,000 Israelis of Moroccan heritage. An estimated 3,000 Jews sleep in Morocco today