New French travel restrictions force RAM and Air Arabia Maroc to suspend flights between Morocco and France amid COVID-19 travel chaos.
Rabat – French and Moroccan civil aviation authorities are at odds with each other after France imposed new travel restrictions on Royal Air Maroc and Air Arabia Maroc flights from Morocco to France.
French authorities’ desire to reserve the airspace network for repatriations is set to force Royal Air Maroc (RAM) and Air Arabia Maroc to cancel flights from August 4 to August 10.
Air Arabia Maroc has offered their customers the possibility to receive a refund or change their flights at no additional cost with a credit valid for 12 months.
Royal Air Maroc has suspended the marketing of flights planned during this period awaiting negotiations between France and Morocco, according to a company source cited by local outlet Le360.
The new restrictions come days after the French media questioned Morocco’s exclusion of Air France flights from the country’s exceptional flight operation.
French economist and journalist Pascal Perri accused Morocco of exerting a de facto monopoly on the route between the two countries.
Perri noted the struggle of airline companies during the time of COVID-19 and suggested that Morocco is merely trying to save Royal Air Maroc from bankruptcy.
Like other airlines, RAM has been hard hit by travel restrictions under the pandemic. The company has reported losing $109.1 million every month since Morocco introduced the restrictions.
The limited resumption of flights, which began on July 15, intends to offer foreigners the opportunity to leave Morocco and for Moroccan citizens, residents, or their families to return to the North African country.
The Moroccan flag carrier fixed prices for round-trip flights between Morocco and France at MAD 5,500 ($575) after it selectively resumed international flights.
Morocco has not yet announced when it will open its borders to tourists.