The flight is the first of its kind from the US since Morocco closed its borders in March to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Rabat – A flight on Friday brought home a group of 215 Moroccans who had been stranded in the US due to Morocco’s COVID-19-induced lockdown and closed borders, along with 35 diplomats and their family members.
The US embassy announced the news in a brief statement posted on its social networks on July 17, thanking Morocco for its coordination and partnership.
The Embassy of the United States in Rabat and Morocco’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs organized the special flight.
The embassy’s first announcement Friday reported that 220 Moroccans had returned home. The American Ambassador to Morocco, David Fischer, was pictured greeting the passengers upon their arrival. The embassy shared a photo of the ambassador with a little girl who was showing him her teddy bear.
The US embassy, however, deleted the posts announcing the return of the 220 Moroccans. The new posts, accompanied by the initial photos, clarify that 215 Moroccan citizens have returned home in addition to the 35 diplomatic personnel and family members.
The special flight is the first of its kind from the US, one of the epicenters of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
After announcing the decision to open borders on July 15 to Moroccan citizens, residents, and their families, Morocco’s government launched a special flight operation through its national carrier Royal Air Maroc as well as Air Arabia.
The operation offers flights to Morocco from several international destinations.
The destinations include France, the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, China, Turkey, Spain, Germany, Russia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, Senegal, Tunisia, Algeria, Mauritania, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, the US, and Canada.
Moroccans residing abroad who found themselves stuck in Morocco due to closed borders, as well as foreigners in Morocco, can also benefit from the special flights that began departing the country on July 15.