British holidaymakers stranded in Morocco after flight ban

·3-min read
Morocco’s National Office of Airports said the policy will remain in place ‘until further notice’ (PA) (PA Wire)
Morocco’s National Office of Airports said the policy will remain in place ‘until further notice’ (PA) (PA Wire)

Hundreds of British travellers have been stuck in Morocco after the country banned flights from the UK.

Skyrocketing Covid cases in the UK sparked Morocco to bring in the ban from 11.59pm on Wednesday.

Among the stranded, a group of 23 women - who were trekking in the Atlas mountains when the ban was put in pace - spoke about their ordeal.

Jodie Salt, the founder of coaching company Ladies Life Lounge who organised the trip, told The Times: “A lot of our group are mums with young children who have commitments and want to get back to see their family.

“We just want a straight answer, even if that means we have to go home a little bit later. It would be useful for somebody to communicate with us.”

Also among the stranded, 30-year-old Chloe Boulos said she and her partner have been stranded after their flight was cancelled.

She said they were awaiting an update and hoped to fly on Friday.

“It has definitely ruined the last day as we’ve just spent all day checking for an update.

“It is more frustrating than anything as all day we have been in limbo not knowing if we would be leaving or not.”

Will Malpass, 31, who lives in Clapham south London, said he and his partner were left “frustrated” after arriving in Morocco and said the couple will have to travel through France to get home.

“As it stands, we’re going through France and then (getting the) Eurostar back,” he said.

Mr Malpass said he is not scheduled to fly home until Monday but was notified his flight had been cancelled when the ban was announced.

“(It) did come as a surprise – it doesn’t feel like the ban actually solves anything because we’re just finding a way through another country to get back,” Mr Malpass said.

EasyJet said Moroccan authorities informed them airlines will be allowed to schedule flights back to the UK in the coming days.

A spokesperson said in a statement: “Following the immediate suspension of flying between the UK and Morocco by the Moroccan government earlier this week, we’ve received confirmation from the Moroccan authorities that we are permitted to operate scheduled flights over the coming days and so we will be operating from Marrakech up to and including 26th October, to return customers to the UK.

“We are contacting customers due to return on these flights to confirm they are operating, as well as customers who need to return early with information on how to arrange a free of charge transfer onto one of these flights.”

In normal times, it is estimated there are more than 50 commercial flights from London to Morroco each week seating around 6,500 people.

Moroccan authorities have said the ban will stay in place “until further notice”.

The UK faced more than 52,000 new coronavirus infections on Thursday.

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control’s latest figures show Morocco’s weekly rate of reported coronavirus cases on October 14 stood at 10.4 per 100,000 people. The rate in the UK is 445.5 per 100,000 people.

Morocco has also banned flights to and from Germany and the Netherlands.

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