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El Al not resuming summer flights to Dublin, Marrakech

National carrier will shift aircraft to more popular routes.

An El Al passenger plane takes off from Ben-Gurion Airport, Apr. 24, 2019. Photo by Kobi Richter/TPS.
An El Al passenger plane takes off from Ben-Gurion Airport, Apr. 24, 2019. Photo by Kobi Richter/TPS.

Israel’s national carrier, El Al, announced on Monday it will not resume summer flights to Dublin or Marrakech, due to a lack of customer interest since the current Hamas war broke out on Oct. 7.

“Starting from the beginning of April 2024 and throughout the upcoming summer season, we will not resume our operations on the lines to Dublin in Ireland and Marrakesh in Morocco, due to the ongoing security situation and significant drop in demand,” the airline said.

El Al said the move allows the airline to expand its flights to more popular destinations.

Shortly after Oct. 7, Israel’s National Security Council raised the travel warning for Morocco to Level 2, meaning citizens traveling there are advised to “exercise greater caution.”

Israel and Morocco normalized relations in December 2020 as part of the U.S.-brokered Abraham Accords. An estimated one million Israelis are either from Morocco or are of Moroccan descent. More than 200,000 Israelis visited Morocco in 2022, as coronavirus travel restrictions came to an end.

Ireland is pushing the European Union to review its relations with Israel, claiming Israel’s war in Gaza may breach a human rights clause in the E.U.-Israel Association Agreement. The agreement, signed in 1995, governs bilateral Israel-E.U. relations. An estimated 2,700 Jews live in Ireland, mostly in Dublin.

The move follows El Al recently suspending all flights to South Africa as of April 1. That announcement was made hours before the International Court of Justice announced its interim ruling on Israel’s military campaign in Gaza. South Africa petitioned the court to intervene, accusing Israel of committing “genocide” against the Palestinians in Gaza.

Around 52,000 Jews live in South Africa. In December, the South African Foreign Ministry said that its nationals fighting for the Israel Defense Forces in Gaza may be committing war crimes and could become “liable for prosecution” in South Africa.

All passengers whose flights will be canceled will be notified and offered alternative travel options, El Al said.

Meanwhile, El Al plans to add a total of five weekly flights in the coming months to Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles and Boston.

Ahead of Passover, which begins on the evening of April 22, the airline intends to add two new weekly flights to Israel from Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport in South Florida. (El Al also operates flights out of Miami International Airport, some 30 miles to the south.)

In June, El Al will add flights to Los Angeles, where it now operates daily (except on Shabbat). The airline will add weekly flights on Monday and Wednesday, bringing the weekly total to eight.

It will also add a weekly flight to Boston, which will mean there will be flights on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays during the summer.

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