The popular holiday hotspot in western North Africa, Morocco, has banned direct flights to and from the UK, Germany and The Netherlands from 11.59 on Wednesday 20 October. No end date has yet been suggested.
The rising rates of Covid infection rates is being cited as the reason for the move.
According to the Foreign Office:
“The Moroccan government has announced the suspension for an unspecified period of direct flights between Morocco and the UK (and Germany and the Netherlands) with effect from midnight 20 October.”
Flights via third countries such as France and Spain are likely to operate in the usual giving travellers a way to return home.
The county’s national airline, Royal Air Maroc, told their passengers:
“Following the decision of the Moroccan authorities, all flights from Morocco to the United Kingdom, Germany and Netherlands are suspended until further notice.”
The afternoon easyJet flights from London Gatwick and Manchester to Marrakesh will fly out empty to bring back British travellers before the midnight deadline.
Passenger due to fly have been told:
“We’re sorry that your flight has been cancelled. We have been advised of a change of regulation that affects flights from UK arriving into Morocco. As we’ll be unable to fly to Morocco in order to operate any return flights after today, we’ve taken the decision to cancel your flight with us today.”
easyjet are flying out with empty planes to bring back passenger but it’s unclear whether the airline will be able to repatriate Brits beyond midnight. In the meantime they have cancelled outbound flights from the UK, Germany and the Netherlands until 30 November. Passengers are being offered a free of charge transfer, or a voucher or a refund.
This will be a particular blow to Ryanair who have only recently announced a new route from Edinburgh to Marrakesh due to start in December.