Royal Air Maroc Airlines has announced the cancellation of seven direct flights between Casablanca and Doha just hours before the World Cup match between Morocco and France, apparently due to Qatar’s fear of a massive influx of ticketless fans to the stadium.
The company confirmed in the early hours of the morning the cancellation of seven of the 30 flights planned, due to “the latest restrictions imposed by the Qatari authorities”. The company, which does not go into further details, has apologized to customers for these cancellations and promised to reimburse the money for the tickets.
“Following the latest restrictions imposed by the Qatari authorities,” according to its statement, the Moroccan national airline said it had “regret to inform customers of the cancellation of their flights operated by Qatar Airways.” Cancelled flights between Casablanca-Mohammed V and Doha-Hamad International Airport are as follows:
The Qatari authorities have reportedly expressed their concern about the possible arrival of thousands of people without tickets on the eve of the World Cup semi-final, which for the first time will have an African representation, according to sources consulted by the Moroccan portal Le360.
RAM managed to operate 10 of the one-off flights to Doha on Tuesday, according to data supplied by the flight tracking website Flight Aware. All of the flights were operated by widebody jets, including Airbus A330s and Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Thousands of Moroccan fans had wanted to get to Qatar to cheer their team on at the Al-Bayt Stadium on Wednesday night, but many will now be left disappointed.
The airline had restructured its flight schedule earlier in the month ahead of Atlas Lions round of 16 qualifying matches.