in Morocco, the galley of French tourists

Forced to return to France as soon as possible following the announcement of the suspension of flights between Morocco and France from Sunday evening, French passengers are trying to find last-minute solutions. Report at Marrakech airport.

Josephine will long remember her 60th birthday trip to Marrakech. She arrived last Thursday with her husband for a long weekend, just before the announcement of the suspension of flights between Morocco and France by the Cherifian authorities, she will have seen almost nothing to the Red City except its airport, its taxis. And had almost no time to blow out his candles. “Our Sunday Ryanair flight to Nîmes was canceled, we bought five tickets and we have been on our way to the airport for two days”, she confided last Saturday in the check-in hall of Marrakech Menara International Airport. Between cancellations or postponements of the scheduled flights, the couple had to fly in desperation for Rome during the day after having to undergo an emergency antigen test for Covid-19, as required by the Italian authorities.

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“We are vaccinated, tested, we are not a danger”

From Marrakech, 86 flights were scheduled this Saturday. Anne-Claire Delorme

Like Joséphine and her husband, dozens of desperate passengers on Saturday tried to find solutions at Marrakech airport, caught between orders from the French embassy in Morocco, which advised “French people passing through Morocco to return to France as soon as possible” and the difficulty of finding B-planes despite Air France and Transavia deploying additional flights this weekend. In total, according to the National Office of Moroccan Airports (ONDA), 86 flights were scheduled to Marrakech Menara International Airport between Friday and Sunday and 108 at Mohammed V International Airport in Casablanca.

No crowding at the counters and a little nervousness in their ranks, but the feeling of being there “taken hostage”estimated Geneviève. “It’s okay to close borders, but we should let people go without stress without forcing them to look for tickets. We are vaccinated, we have undergone PCR tests, we are not a danger … In telephone contact with her daughter in France, she desperately tried to find reasonably priced tickets to promote her return, originally scheduled for December 4th. “If we want to go home today, we will only find tickets for 700 euros, 800 or even 1000 euros with luggage!”

François and Catherine have had a bitter experience of this. Unable to find a conversation partner at the airport on Friday morning to find an alternative solution to their Ryanair flight to Marseille, scheduled for Sunday, the couple hurried from Aix-en-Provence to Iberia’s office to buy one. ticket to reach France via Spain. Cost of the operation 7600 dh (about 700 euros) for two, a little expensive “For two days hassle and a shortened stay”sugar Francois.

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Exposed aircraft

Behind him, Zacharia, whom Ryanair offered a Marrakech / Lisbon / Beauvais to reach his city of Amiens, raged against “state amateurism” pointing to reversals in the decision-making process, as the Moroccan authorities have finally postponed the suspension of flights, which were originally scheduled for Friday evening, to Sunday evening at. 23:59.

Meanwhile, passengers rushed for tickets, as did Ludovic, who spent two days at the airport waiting for a repeatedly delayed flight. At the airport since 7:30 on Saturday for a flight to Paris finally scheduled for 18:20, for him the reason is heard: “I no longer travel in Covid times, at least not by plane!”

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