El Al Israel Airways on Sunday launched nonstop flights to Marrakesh from Tel Aviv following a resumption of diplomatic ties final 12 months between Morocco and Israel, studies Reuters.
Flight 553 took off at 11:35 a.m. (0835 GMT) utilizing a Boeing 787 Dreamliner plane for the six-hour journey.
Israel and Morocco agreed final December to renew diplomatic ties and relaunch direct flights – a part of a deal brokered by the USA that additionally included Washington’s recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara.
“This route will assist promote tourism, commerce and financial cooperation between the 2 nations,” mentioned Tourism Minister Yoel Razvozov.
El Al, Israel’s flag service which was hit laborious final 12 months as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, mentioned it’s going to function as much as 5 flights every week to Morocco, switching to smaller Boeing 737 planes.
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Morocco was dwelling to one of many largest and most affluent Jewish communities in North Africa and the Center East for hundreds of years till Israel’s founding in 1948. An estimated quarter of 1,000,000 left Morocco for Israel from 1948-1964.
In the present day solely about 3,000 Jews stay in Morocco, whereas a whole lot of 1000’s of Israelis declare some Moroccan ancestry.
Moroccan officers describe their take care of Israel, together with the opening of liaison workplaces, as a restoration of mid-level ties that Rabat cooled in 2000 in solidarity with Palestinians.
In March, Moroccan Tourism Minister Nadia Fettah Alaoui mentioned she anticipated 200,000 Israeli guests within the first 12 months following the resumption of direct flights. That compares with about 13 million yearly whole overseas vacationers earlier than the pandemic.
Tourism income in Morocco fell by 53.8% to 36.3 billion dirhams ($3.8 billion) in 2020.
Opinion: The favored view in Morocco is clearly towards normalisation with Israel