British Airways is to launch service to the Moroccan city of Marrakech from London Gatwick Airport on March 27, in direct competition with low-cost carriers.
Marrakech, which lies near the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, is the capital of the mid-southwestern economic region of Marrakech-Tensift-Al Haouz. It is the most important former imperial city in Morocco’s history and now has a population of slightly under 1.1 million, split between the ancient walled city (or médina) and the modern city of Gueliz. The airport serving Marrakech is called Ménara International Airport and its IATA code is RAK.
“British Airways offers a real alternative to discerning travellers to Morocco. Unlike the low cost carriers, we offer fantastic all-inclusive fares with no stealth extras,” says Richard Tams, head of UK and Ireland sales and marketing for British Airways. “The benefits you get on BA at no extra charge include a generous baggage allowance, drinks and snacks and much more.”
Adds Tams: “Marrakech adds another fabulous destination to our leisure network at Gatwick and I am confident it will be a huge success. It’s a great starting point to explore Morocco, from trekking in the Atlas Mountains to exploring its amazing deserts and beaches and soaking up the atmosphere of the many medinas.”
“We’re delighted that British Airways is returning to Morocco and Marrakech, where we know that there is a strong demand from the UK tourist market for flagship carriers,” says Hamid Addou, chief executive officer of the Moroccan National Tourist Office. “Marrakech is one of the key tourism destinations in the southern Europe and Africa regions. Its brand image is very strong and we will reinforce it in our joint marketing programme.”
A mix of Boeing 737s and Airbus A319s will operate the three-times-weekly service, which will depart Gatwick on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays and return on the same evenings. The flight time will be approximately 4 hours and BA will offer a number of connecting flights at Gatwick to and from destinations throughout the UK.
British Airways last flew to Marrakech as GB Airways, a former affiliate. The service operated from October 2002 until March 2008, when BA discontinued the route following GB Airways’ take-over by easyJet.
BA operates to 42 domestic, European and long-haul destinations from Gatwick and carries approximately 5 million customers a year from the airport.
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