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    Minister: Resumption of International Flights ‘Very Satisfactory’ So Far

    Morocco’s exceptional reopening of international borders comes with a series of safety measures.

    18 Jul 2020

    Rabat – The first special flights scheduled as part of Morocco’s exceptional operation to allow Moroccan citizens and residents to return to the country are taking place in “very satisfactory” conditions, said Minister of Tourism Nadia Fettah.

    During a visit to the Mohammed V International Airport of Casablanca on Wednesday, Fettah inspected the measures in place at the airport to ensure the safety of incoming and outgoing passengers, as well as employees.

    The visit came as international commercial flights resumed on July 15. The outgoing flights are available for Moroccans residing abroad and their families, foreign residents in Morocco and their families, Moroccan students enrolled in foreign universities, businessmen and businesswomen, as well as Moroccans going abroad for medical care, provided they obtain an exceptional authorization from local authorities.

    Meanwhile, the incoming flights can only carry Moroccan citizens and residents, as well as their families.

    The Moroccan government announced the decision for the exceptional international border reopening on July 8.

    “Today, we have resumed the second stage of the exceptional flights to and from Morocco. The first flights went under very satisfactory conditions,” Fettah told the press during her visit.

    “We will daily ensure that the application of [safety] measures is strict and firm to guarantee the safety and health of passengers and employees,” she added.

    The Mohammed V International Airport is the headquarters of national carrier Royal Air Maroc (RAM)—one of only two airlines allowed to serve the exceptional flights—and is currently linked to 23 international destinations, with more than a dozen airplanes departing from and arriving in the airport on a daily basis.

    The destinations include 13 cities in Europe, five in the MENA region, three in sub-Saharan Africa, and two in North America.

    During a meeting with Fettah, the General Director of the National Office of Airports (ONDA), Zouheir Mohamed El Oufir, expressed satisfaction with the RAM and Air Arabia flights, recalling that Moroccan airports have remained operational despite the COVID-19 pa,demic through cargo flights and, since June 25, domestic commercial flights.

    “We have put in place a plan to be able to guarantee, under the best conditions, the safety of passengers and airport users. The plan is implemented [in coordination] with all of the airport partners: General Directorate of National Security, Royal Gendarmerie, Customs Office, and local authorities,” El Oufir said.

    The safety measures include installing plexiglass barriers in check-in counters, information desks, and boarding rooms, as well as providing disinfecting gel dispensers across the airport.

    Airport employees also monitor whether everyone is wearing face masks and are available to answer all passengers’ inquiries, El Oufir added.

    ONDA has equipped the airport with last-gen thermal imaging cameras, capable of checking the temperature of 15 passengers simultaneously, he concluded.

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