Moroccan carrier Royal Air Maroc announced a new codeshare agreement with Israeli carrier El Al Airlines and launched its first direct flight from Casablanca to Tel Aviv.

The four-and-a-half-hour inaugural direct flight from Casablanca’s Mohamed V International Airport (CMN) set off for Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion International Airport (TLV) on Sunday.

Royal Air Maroc will initially operate flights to Israel four times a week departing from Casablanca starting on Monday, though the long-term plan is to have five weekly flights, according to the website Simply Flying.

“We are pleased to inaugurate this direct link to Tel Aviv, the first in the history of [Royal Air Maroc],” said Royal Air Maroc’s CEO Hamid Addou. “We offer our customers direct flights between the two countries in less than five hours and a unique travel experience to aboard our planes.”

Royal Air Maroc is one of four airlines now flying between the two countries, but it is the only one flying from Casablanca. The other three airlines—El Al, Arkia and Israir—are all based in Israel and all flying to and from Marrakesh.

El Al CEO Avigal Soreq said about the new codeshare agreement: “We welcome the partnership between the two official flag carriers of both Morocco and Israel. This collaboration is a great accomplishment that has been achieved in a relatively short time since the Abraham Accords established official relations.

“For Israelis, this is a significant improvement of having the option to travel to attractive destinations in Morocco and elsewhere in Africa,” he added. “Israelis see Morocco as a preferred tourist destination, and we are confident the public in Morocco will also be drawn to Israel for all it has to offer as an attractive tourist destination.”

Morocco and Israel established diplomatic relations as part of the Abraham Accords in December 2020.

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