MOROCCO – Russian carriers S7 Airlines and Aeroflot are set to start flying to Casablanca, Morocco, as part of plans to expand their travel destinations.
Flights to Casablanca’s Mohammed V International (CMN) will begin on April 30 before switching to a Sunday service from May 9. The route, which will be S7’s first to Morocco, will be operated using Boeing 737-800s.
The airline will become the second carrier to serve DME-CMN this summer alongside fellow oneworld alliance member Royal Air Maroc. Morocco’s flag-carrier currently provides 2X-weekly flights, set to increase to 3X-weekly in June.
In addition, data provided by OAG Schedules Analyser shows Aeroflot intends to launch two routes from Moscow Sheremetyevo (SVO) to both Agadir (AGA) and CMN from early June. Flights will be 3X-weekly and 1X-weekly respectively on board 737-800s.
The Russian carriers appear to be betting on Morocco’s status as a prized tourism destination. Routes Online’s projections are that, by early July this year, flight travel capacity between Morocco and Russia could jump to “2,570 two-way weekly seats,” up from 1,400 in the same period in 2019.
Meanwhile, the news comes amid abetting fears over the COVID-19 crisis and ongoing pandemic-induced travel restrictions.
Russia is currently not on the list of countries that Morocco has suspended travel with, and the two Russian carriers hopes are that this will remain the case – or even improve – as the epidemiological situation in both Morocco and Russia is set to stabilize in the coming weeks in light of the two countries’ vaccine rollout.
To fly to Morocco, travelers from Russia will need a certificate with a negative PCR test for COVID-19 valid for no more than 72 hours in English, Arabic or French. Upon returning to Moscow, it is also necessary to take a test.
S7 has also announced that it intends to launch a new domestic route between Novosibirsk (OVB) in Siberia and Rostov-on-Don (ROV) in southern Russia. The 3,035-km flight will be 2X-weekly from May 30 using Airbus A320neo aircraft.
A route to Cologne/Bonn (CGN) from DME is also scheduled to begin on May 6. The service will operate weekly using A320neo equipment.
In addition, Aeroflot has confirmed plans to serve Gorno-Altaysk (RGK), the capital town of the Altai Republic region of Russia. SVO-RGK will be operated daily from April 29 using 737-800s, increasing to 10X-weekly in June.
The Altai region is one of Russia’s top domestic tourism destinations, and the Altai Mountains in southern Siberia are a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The airline is also starting a new service from SVO to Malta (MLA) from June 4. Flights will run twice a week.