After border closures with nearly 50 countries, embassies are scheduling repatriation flights for citizens stranded in Morocco.
Rabat – Turkey’s embassy in Rabat announced on Thursday a series of repatriation flights from Morocco to Istanbul. The flights will cater to Turkish citizens and Moroccans who reside in Turkey.
In late February, Morocco suspended flights with Turkey as part of a suspension that now extends to 50 countries.
The flights will depart from Casablanca’s Mohammed V Airport on Saturday, April 24 and Thursday, April 29, and state-owned Turkish Airlines will sponsor the flights. Departure is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. and the embassy advises all passengers to arrive at least three hours prior to departure.
All passengers must show a negative PCR test conducted no earlier than 72 hours before boarding. Additionally, passengers must submit a health form to Turkey’s Ministry of Health 72 hours before entering Turkish territory.
Passengers have eagerly awaited Turkey’s repatriation flights from Morocco since the closures in February.
Turkish Airlines declared passengers will need to purchase tickets for the flights. Other passengers with previous reservations may change their flight itinerary to return on the repatriation flights.
Turkey is not the first country to offer repatriation flights from Morocco during this particular suspension as Spain, Portugal, and France recently organized a series for their nationals.
Morocco suspended international travel on March 15, 2020 following the initial global outbreak of COVID-19. Many foreign nationals were stuck in Morocco and countries including the US, Canada, and the United Kingdom, as well as a score of others across the globe, rushed to offer repatriation flights.
The first travel ban lasted six months with the first wave of tourists returning in September 2020. Now, the most recent cycle of border closures places countries such as Turkey and most of the EU in a similar situation.
As for Moroccans stranded in Turkey, the Moroccan embassy in Ankara has yet to announce any repatriation flights. The kingdom has permitted only cargo and medical flights from the prohibited countries to slow the spread of COVID-19 within its borders.