Israeli airline to launch direct flights to Marrakesh

Israeli airline to launch direct flights to Marrakesh
2 min read
The Israeli airline Israir has said it will launch flights between Tel Aviv and Marrakesh next month, half a year after the two countries normalised ties.
Israir follows El Al in launching direct flights between Israel and Morocco [Getty]

Israir will launch direct flights between Israel and Morocco's Marrakesh in July, the Israeli carrier said on Tuesday, six months after the two countries reached a US-backed normalisation deal.

"The first flight will take place on July 19 from Tel Aviv to Marrakesh," said a spokeswoman for Israel's second biggest airline, adding there would be five services a week.

"We believe that demand will be high, and that hundreds of thousands of Israelis will want to take advantage of these direct flights to Morocco," Gil Stav, Israir's deputy sales director, said in a statement.

Morocco was one of four regional states to normalise ties with Israel in 2020, along with Bahrain, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates.

The move came as the administration of former US president Donald Trump recognised Morocco's sovereignty over Western Sahara, a disputed and divided former Spanish colony.

Israel's top airline El Al operated the first direct commercial flight between Tel Aviv and Rabat in December 2020.

Israir said the price of a return ticket to Marrakesh would cost 580 dollars (about 473 euros).

Morocco is home to North Africa's largest Jewish community, which numbers around 3,000. Some 700,000 Jews of Moroccan origin live in Israel.

The normalisation agreements between Arab states and Israel have been deemed a "betrayal" by the Palestinians, who believe the process can only be considered after a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.