First commercial direct flights from Israel land in Morocco

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First commercial direct flights from Israel land in Morocco

Israir and El Al flights from Tel Aviv landed in Marrakesh in wake of the normalisation agreement between the two countries

A shuk - or market - in Marrakesh
A shuk - or market - in Marrakesh

Two Israeli airlines have started what looks like a beautiful friendship with Morocco.

Israir and El Al flights from Tel Aviv landed in Marrakesh on Sunday, Agence France Presse reported. The debut flights to Morocco are an outcome of the normalisation agreements between Israel and four Arab states.

Israir is planning three flights a week to Marrakesh, the agency quoted the airline’s officials as saying, and El Al five flights a week, to Marrakesh and Casablanca.

Israelis, many of Moroccan descent, have routinely traveled to Morocco since the relaxation of restrictions in the 1990s, but via third countries. There have been a handful of direct flights having to do with affairs of state.

The direct flights are a result of the Abraham Accords, the normalisation agreements brokered last year by the Trump administration between Israel and Morocco as well as Sudan, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Sustaining and expanding the accords is one of the few areas of foreign policy agreement between the Trump and Biden administrations.

Pinhas Moyal, who arrived on the Israir flight, descended wearing a mask and carrying a bag in the Moroccan colours.

“I am originally from Marrakesh,” he said. “I’ve come back here around 30 times, but this time, the trip has a special flavour. It’s as if it were the first time!”

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