Moroccan news site Le360 cites sources saying that Royal Air Maroc will fly 4 weekly nonstop flights between Casablanca And Tel Aviv starting on January 16th. The 5.5 hour flights will be operated by Boeing 787 Dreamliners and will reportedly cost about $500 round-trip. That’s a fraction of the time that it currently takes to fly between Israel and Morocco.
Earlier this month Israel and Morocco agreed to normalize their relationship.
Still, the timing seems odd to me. Israel has just entered a 3rd lockdown and requires most returning citizens to quarantine in a COVID hotel for 10-14 days. Israel has also extended their ban on most foreign nationals through at least February 1st. Plus, 2 weeks is a very short window to start marketing and selling flights.
Morocco allows foreign nationals to enter the country if they are from visa exempt countries like the US and provide a negative PCR test from within 72 hours of departure. I’d imagine that Israel and Morocco are going to work on a visa waiver deal as well.
I’m sure the planes would be packed during normal times, but are there really going to be enough passengers to fill 274 (787-8) or 302 (787-9) seats given the current constraints?
Or does state controlled Royal Air Maroc just really want to be first to the market even if means taking on losses?
This route open up a great way to fly between the US and Israel! A flight from JFK to Casablanca takes less than 7 hours, making it a much more practical connection point than Dubai or Abu Dhabi, which are 13 hour flights.
There are bargains to fly on Royal Air Maroc using AA or Etihad miles. With excellent award space in coach and business class, this could be an incredible way to use American or other OneWorld partner miles to fly to Israel.
Have you been to Morocco? Will you fly to Israel via Morocco?