Morocco has extended a ban on international passenger flights until the end of January to fight the spread of the Omicron variant, RFI reported. The closure deals a severe blow to its vital tourism economy, with those working in the sector warning that Morocco is going bankrupt. The National Office of Airports (ONDA) announced on Friday that all passenger flights to and from Morocco would be suspended until 31 January 2021. Royal Air Maroc – the local airline – said that its scheduled exceptional flights between 24 December and 31 December 2021 would still operate.
Coronavirus struck at a tough time for Morocco: it aggravated the impact of a second year of drought, in a country where economic growth is vulnerable to fluctuations in rainfall. Agriculture, which accounts for about 10 per cent of gross domestic product and employs almost 30 per cent of the workforce, was already suffering as a result of two years of poor rains, the Financial Times reported. The pandemic was another disaster, leading to the collapse of the tourism sector and disrupting exports to Europe, the country’s foremost economic partner.