Following Morocco’s closure of its air borders, thousands of European tourists remained stranded across the country, many congregating in airports.
Rabat – Low-cost airline Transavia announced four additional flights on Monday, March 16, to repatriate French nationals stranded in Morocco.
The company has already operated several flights from Marrakech and Agadir to Paris, after “approval from Moroccan authorities.”
On Friday, March 13, Morocco decided to suspend all air and sea trips to and from France due to the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. France is one of the most severely hit countries in Europe. The number of confirmed cases in the country stands at nearly 5,500 Monday morning, including 127 reported deaths.
Two days later, on March 15, Morocco generalized the measure, suspending all international flights.
The precautionary decisions left thousands of tourists stranded in the North African country. European countries, including France, started working with Moroccan authorities to repatriate their citizens.
After consultations, Morocco authorized the departure of repatriating flights. However, the logistics remain in development. Only flights to Paris have been scheduled so far.
British authorities are also rushing to repatriate their citizens. The United Kingdom reassured its citizens that repatriation flights will take place, but have not announced a schedule yet.
“We don’t mind not being able to leave immediately, but need some guidance,” Harriet, a British national stranded in Morocco, told the BBC, deploring the lack of communication.
As European governments are preparing the repatriation process, it remains to be seen how long it will take for them to reach agreements with Moroccan authorities.