Air traffic between Morocco and the Netherlands, Germany and the United Kingdom will be stopped indefinitely at midnight. The airlines Royal Air Maroc and Air Arabia Maroc write on Twitter that the decision has been made due to coronavirus measures.
A Moroccan government agency regulating air traffic has confirmed the news, says correspondent Samira Jadir. Transavia has also been informed by the Moroccan authorities.
The government-minded news site Le360 writes, based on sources, that Morocco has made the decision due to “new variants” of the virus in the three countries.
Transavia investigates which flights can still be operated. “We dont know what it means yet, it comes all of a sudden. From last night, we wont be allowed to fly”, says society. “Its autumn break and people are visiting family.”
A number of passengers decided to travel to Morocco:
The airline is trying to get a permit to bring back travelers. “We do everything in our power. The passengers want clarity, but we dont have it yet.” Normally, the airline flies back and forth to Morocco 22 times a week.
The airlines depend on Moroccan authorities. Until the flight ban applies, it is not known.
Nor does the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague know how long the flight suspension will take. The Netherlands continues to talk to Moroccan authorities, the ministry says. Travel advice has been adapted to the new situation. “We advise the Dutch to contact their travel company as soon as possible to discuss alternative routes,” said Foreign Affairs.
Since the corona pandemic, Morocco has closed the airspace completely or partially more frequently to prevent an increase in the number of corona infections in the country. For Aicha Zerki, the sudden decision now generates the necessary tension. “My husband, daughter and mother are now in Morocco. We have no idea how to return to the Netherlands.”
She is particularly concerned about her mother. “My mother relies on medication. She had only brought a stock for two weeks.”
The Solar Challenge will also be held in Morocco this week for the first time. Three Dutch teams will participate, including TU Delfts Vattenfall Solar Team. Spokesman Steven Tan is in the face of the new measure, but the team is still planning to stay in Morocco. “Were ready for the race, but we prefer to have our team coach and hes still in the Netherlands.”
This graphic shows the number of infections in Morocco, the Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom and Belgium. The flight ban does not apply to our southern neighbours. People who want to fly to Morocco are expected to do so via Belgium, for example.