British Airways to begin its three times weekly London – Marrakech service in 2011
Morocco has a new tax-free trade zone near Tangier, a dynamic, young King who is modernising the country’s infrastructure, communications and tourist offerings and its most famous city Marrakech is already a sought-after second home destination for the sports stars and celebrities who have been snapping up the luxury riad-style properties that are part of many brand new five star hotel and golf resorts.
Despite its proximity to Europe, flights to Morocco can be pricey. That may change, however, now that yet another airline will start to service the London to Marrakech route. BA has just announced its new service from London Gatwick to Marrakech which starts next year. It will fly from Gatwick to Marrakech three times a week, returning on the same departure days.
BA will compete with EasyJet and Ryanair who also fly to Marrakech, as well as the Moroccan national airline, Air Maroc which flies from both Heathrow and Gatwick to Marrakech. EasyJet already services the Gatwick – Marrakech route, while Ryanair flies from London Luton.
Two of Morocco’s most famous fans were Sir Winston Churchill and Yves St. Laurent. For Churchill it was a place of peace where he loved to paint the Atlas mountains and Yves St. Laurent was so captivated by Marrakech that he bought one of its most beautiful riads with its own exotic gardens which were opened to the public.
Geographically and culturally Morocco is a modern day gateway between North Africa and Europe. Tangier is only about fourteen miles from southern Spain which makes it a surprisingly accessible destination for anyone visiting Malaga or Gibraltar, thanks to a forty minute hydrofoil ride from Tarifa, in Spain, to Tangier.
Tangier’s busy port is not Morocco’s prettiest or most pleasant city but there are other gems worth discovering once you get past Tangier. The capital Rabat has a young, cosmopolitan vibe with pavement cafes, historic monuments, and unspoiled city beaches; Fez is photogenic; and nowhere captures the spirit of Morocco more than Marrakech, with its markets, riads, spicy smells and ochre and dusky pink coloured walls. Even Jamie Oliver was taken with its food and cultural flavours while filming Jamie In….Marrakech.
British Airways will operate the new flights three times a week, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, returning the same day.