Direct Israel-Morocco flights launched, months after ties normalized

The first direct commercial flights between Israel and Morocco landed in Marrakesh on Sunday, more than seven months after the countries normalized diplomatic relations in a US-brokered deal.

Passengers from Tel Aviv arrived on an Israir flight early Sunday afternoon and were met with dates, cakes, and mint tea, at a welcoming ceremony organized in their honor.

“I am originally from Marrakesh. I’ve come back here around 30 times, but this time, the trip has a special flavor — it’s as if it were the first time!” an emotional Pinhas Moyal told AFP from the tarmac, his mask and bag in the colors of the Moroccan flag.

“This is a historic moment, this flight can only strengthen the bridge between Israel and Morocco,” said Benjamin Ron, a tour guide hoping to bring in other Israelis in the future.

Israir spokeswoman Tali Leibovitz told AFP that two to three flights per week were planned on the route.

Read More: Times of Israel