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Morocco launches first direct flight with Israel

Fifteen months after the normalization of relations between Morocco and Israel, a plane took off from Casablanca Sunday, heading for Tel Aviv.

A Royal Air Maroc (RAM) plane took off on Sunday from the economic capital Casablanca for Tel Aviv, according to an airport source. After three months of delay due to the health crisis, the aircraft of the Moroccan national company flew away on Sunday at 9 a.m. GMT, said this source. “Casablanca/Tel Aviv at 400 euros. Who would have believed it?” tweeted the head of Israel’s Liaison Office in Morocco, David Govrin.

Scheduled for December 12 but postponed due to Covid, this flight marks a new stage in bilateral rapprochement. A delegation of Moroccan entrepreneurs boarded the plane, according to media reports. Four weekly flights are scheduled between Mohammed-V airports in Casablanca and Ben-Gurion airports in Tel Aviv.

200,000 Israeli visitors expected by Morocco

Morocco expects a tourist windfall of 200,000 Israeli visitors annually (50,000 in 2021), with these direct flights between the two countries. “This new connection meets the expectations of the Moroccan community established in Israel, which maintains strong ties with its country of origin,” RAM explained in a press release.

In Casablanca, a billboard boasted in recent days the direct line with Tel Aviv. “It is comforting to see a large advertisement on a wall in Casablanca, for the first Royal Air Maroc flight to Tel Aviv,” David Govrin said on Twitter. “I invite our Moroccan brothers to visit Israel and learn about its culture and to stand up for the great place that Morocco and Moroccans hold in the hearts of Israelis,” he added.

Morocco’s Jewish community is the largest in North Africa and the approximately 700,000 Israelis of Moroccan descent have often maintained very strong ties with their country of origin.

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