UAE airlines cancel flights to Morocco amid Omicron Covid-19 variant concerns

Emirates and Etihad have suspended services to the kingdom from Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Etihad and Emirates have cancelled flights to Morocco after the kingdom suspended incoming commercial flights due to the new Covid-19 variant. Phoot: Etihad

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UAE airlines have suspended services to and from Morocco, after the kingdom banned all flights for a two-week period.

From tomorrow, Morocco will halt all incoming air travel from across the world in an attempt to prevent cases of the Omicron Covid-19 variant.

In response, Emirates and Etihad have cancelled commercial flights to Morocco from the UAE.

"Following the latest Moroccan government directives, Etihad has suspended passenger services between the UAE and Morocco from 30 November, for a two-week period in response to the spread of the newly identified variant of Covid-19," an Etihad Airways spokesperson told The National. "Etihad is working closely with impacted guests to notify them of the changes to their itineraries."

Emirates also confirmed that flights to Morocco from Dubai would be cancelled from Monday.

Passengers wait for their flights at Marrakesh Airport in this file photo taken on March 15, 2020. Morocco has decided to suspend all incoming commercial passenger flights for a two-week period due to the new Covid-19 variant. Photo: AFP

Morocco's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday announced that the measure will be in effect for a period of two weeks.

The ministry, which noted the spread of Omicron in Africa and Europe, said the decision was taken to "preserve the achievements realised by Morocco in the fight against the pandemic, and to protect the health of citizens".

Morocco's response is among some of the more drastic measures being imposed, however other countries are also adding travel restrictions. Israel has banned entry for foreigners and mandated quarantine for all citizens arriving from abroad. Japan is also set to ban tourists from entering the country from Tuesday.

The UK, the US, Australia and the UAE have suspended travel to southern Africa. Singapore has delayed the restart of travel from the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, citing the Gulf countries' proximity to southern African nations as a reason for the postponement.

Updated: November 29th 2021, 11:47 AM