Two direct commercial flights between Tel Aviv and Marrakech, operated by the Israeli carriers El Al and Israir, landed on Sunday in the Marrakech-Menara international Airport.
These two inaugural commercial flights mark the arrival of the first Israeli tourists in the Kingdom.
The flights follow discussions held for several months by the Moroccan Tourism Office (ONMT) and Israeli tourism professionals.
The Sales and Commercial Vice-Presidents of El Al company were aboard the first Israeli plane to land in Marrakech. They were welcomed by Adel El Fakir, Managing Director of ONMT.
Talks between the two sides highlighted by the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the ONMT and the carrier El Al, setting the framework for the promotion of the Morocco destination in joint marketing.
The flight operated by El Al carried tourism professionals, as well as a dozen of journalists and Israeli influencers, invited by the ONMT. They will stay in Morocco until Thursday July 29.
According to the ONMT, a series of meetings will bring together Moroccan and Israeli professionals in Marrakech and Essaouira, to discuss means of promoting the Morocco destination.
Vice President of Commercial & Industry Affairs of El Al, Dina Ben-Tal (Ganancia), said this first commercial flight between Tel Aviv and Marrakech marks a “historic day” and creates a bridge between two countries linked by “good relations of cooperation”.
Recalling that nearly a million Israelis are from Moroccan origin, Ben-Tal stressed that this direct commercial flight will bring more business opportunities and attract more Israeli tourists to the Kingdom.
For his part, Israir’s Rami Levy said “we have waited with great enthusiasm and emotion for the launch of commercial flights between our two countries.”
The same optimism was voiced by Jacky Kadoch, president of the Jewish Community of Marrakech-Safi, who also expressed the joy of the Jewish community for the establishment of a direct air route between Tel Aviv and Marrakech.
El Al will operate three flights per week between Tel Aviv and Marrakech, using Boeing 737-900ER which can accommodate 16 passengers in Business class and 159 in Economy, said the ONMT.
It added, that as of August 10, El Al will also operate three weekly rotations to Casablanca Mohammed V airport.
A third airline, Arkia, will launch flights to Morocco from next September.
With a Moroccan diaspora estimated at 800,000 people, the Israeli market represents a great potential for the Morocco destination, said the ONMT, which specified that currently between 50,000 to 80,000 Israelis visit the Kingdom annually.