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Air Arabia approves return flights from Morocco

The decision on border closures has left many tourists with no options to return home
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AFP/KARIM JAAFAR  -   The Emirati airline Air Arabia has scheduled a quarantine of repatriation flights between 1 and 6 December from the Moroccan cities of Casablanca, Fez, Oujda, Nador and Tangier to the Spanish cities of Madrid, Barcelona, Malaga and Murcia, as well as to other cities in France and Italy

The new variant of COVID, known as Omicrom, has prompted several countries to close their airspace in order to control the new strain. Morocco was one of the first countries to announce the closure of its borders in order to safeguard the good figures that had been achieved after the implementation of the various vaccination programmes.

This border closure came as a surprise to many tourists and visitors who, due to the new measures, have had to stay in the Maghreb country. The Emirati airline Air Arabia has therefore scheduled a total of 40 repatriation flights between 1 and 6 December. These flights will depart from the cities of Casablanca, Fez, Oujda, Nador and Tangier to the Spanish cities of Madrid, Barcelona, Malaga and Murcia, as well as other French and Italian cities.

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AP/MOSA’AB ELSHAMY - On its website, the airline provides information on the planned schedule of these special flights.

These flights will be one-way only and will have to be authorised by the Maghreb authorities as a special measure after announcing the suspension of flights for a period of two weeks. 

Thus, from cities such as Casablanca, Air Arabia is expected to operate flights to Barcelona, Milan, Fribourg, Catania, Lyon, Naples and Murcia. From Fez, planes will fly to Paris, Lyon, Montpellier and Strasbourg. They will also operate to link the Moroccan city of Oujda with Murcia and Paris, while from Nador there will be flights to Barcelona, Malaga and Montpellier. Finally, from Tangier, flights will operate to Malaga, Barcelona and Madrid.

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REUTERS/REGIS DUVIGNAU - Other airlines such as Air France and Israel's El Al have also scheduled repatriation flights for residents of their respective countries.

The Iberia company will also operate for Spanish residents wishing to return on 2, 4, 7, 9 and 11 December from Casablanca.

Morocco's decision to suspend flights was taken 24 hours in advance, so tourists in the Maghreb country were able to leave via the last commercial flights in operation.

However, many of them are still awaiting repatriation via special flights to Spain. Similarly, French airlines such as Air France and Israel's El Al have scheduled other repatriation flights to their respective countries.

Morocco has also closed the Guerguerat crossing, which links Western Sahara with Mauritania, to travellers, as well as the only maritime connection that was active with Italy, according to EFE.