A deal that was struck on Friday in Salé, close to Rabat, between the Moroccan National Tourist Office (ONMT) and the Israeli Arkia Airline Company would see direct flights between Tel-Aviv and Essaouira beginning in September.
There will be 11,000 seats available on Arkia Airlines’ new direct flight.
In his remarks on the agreement, ONMT Chief Adel El Fakir emphasized the significance of the new Israeli direct flights for Moroccan incoming tourism, noting that the new route was opened to satisfy rising Israeli market demand.
Gad Tepper, the director of Arkia, expressed his optimism on the relevance and financial benefits of the new airline service that will allow thousands of Israelis to visit Essaouira to take advantage of its well-known historical sites.
Nearly 75,000 Israeli visitors traveled to Morocco in 2022, an increase of 87% from 2019. About 39,000 Israeli tourists traveled to the North African Kingdom at the end of June 2023, a 35% rise from the same time in 2022.
Israeli visitors increased their arrivals by 146% in the first half of 2023 compared to the same period in 2019, according to the Moroccan Tourism Observatory.
Visits and contacts between Moroccan and Israeli officials increased following the normalization of relations between Rabat and Tel Aviv in 2020 as a result of the Abraham Accords, which were mediated by the United States. This led to the signing of a number of cooperation agreements in the fields of tourism, trade, industry, defense, cybersecurity, technology, scientific research, culture, agriculture, water, healthcare, and security.