The national airline, Royal Air Maroc (RAM) announced on Monday in Beijing, the launch on January 16 of a direct airline between Casablanca and Beijing as part of a development plan that will last three years.
At a press conference attended by representatives of the Moroccan Embassy in China, the representative of the Moroccan National Tourist Office in Beijing, Chinese aviation officials and local media, RAM Regional Director for China Adil Khalloufi said the direct air route will link Mohammed V International Airport, one of the most important airports on the African continent, to Beijing-Daxing International Airport, which is one of the largest airports in the world, opened three months ago.
This new air link will connect Morocco directly to China for the first time in 13 hours by new generation aircraft, the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner which can carry 302 passengers, including 26 in business class, said Khalloufi, adding that three flights are scheduled each week, namely Monday, Thursday and Saturday at 5 p.m. from Casablanca for a landing in Beijing at 11.55 a.m. (local time) the next day.
As for flights departing from Beijing, they will be scheduled Tuesday, Friday and Sunday at 1:55 p.m. to arrive in Casablanca at 7:55 p.m. (day + 1), he said, saying that this new airline will allow the development of passenger and freight flow between Morocco and China based on partnerships that RAM is currently developing with its Chinese airline partners.
For his part, the second ambassador to China, Mourad Ayachi noted that Royal Air Maroc, which has taken an important step by joining the world aviation alliance “One World” next March, continues to expand its vast network to international destinations which it operates from its center in Casablanca, by offering direct flights to Beijing, adding that the launch of this direct flight between the two countries will contribute to the strengthening of Moroccan-Chinese cooperation, particularly in the field aviation.
He added in a speech read on behalf of the Moroccan ambassador to China, Aziz Mekouar, that the official visit of King Mohammed VI to China in May 2016 and the signing on this occasion of several cooperation agreements have instigated a dynamic which the positive spillovers are still palpable in bilateral relations at all levels.
The Moroccan diplomat recalled that Morocco was the first country in the region to sign a memorandum of understanding with China on the “Belt and Road” initiative, recalling that the two countries will celebrate next year the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, which will be another opportunity to give new momentum to bilateral relations.
He added that human and cultural exchanges between the two countries have experienced increased development in recent years, with 350,000 Chinese tourists expected in Morocco at the end of this year, an increase of 550% compared to 2016, date of the decision of King Mohammed VI to abolish visas for Chinese nationals to enter Moroccan territory.
Ayachi also recalled that the two countries will celebrate in 2020, the year of Morocco in China and that of China in Morocco, adding that several events will be organized on this occasion in the capitals of the two countries.