Algeria Announces Closure of Airspace to Morocco

A statement by the Algerian presidency confirmed the “immediate” closure of its airspace to all Moroccan civilian and military aircraft and also aircraft registered in Morocco. This means that all flights bearing a Moroccan registration number are effectively banned from entering Algerian airspace

The president’s office said the decision was taken during a meeting of Algeria’s Supreme Security Council, chaired by the Head of State Abdelmadjid Tebboune, also Minister of Defense and is devoted to the examination of “developments at the borders with the Kingdom of Morocco”

The council took the decision in view of the “continued Moroccan provocations and hostile practices,” the statement said

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It also comes one month after the announcement on August 24 by Algeria of the break of its diplomatic relations with Morocco, following months of heightened tensions between the two rival countries of the Maghreb.

Algeria’s air borders, closed since March 17, 2020, due to the Covid-19 epidemic, only to be partially reopened on June 1 to seven countries, of which Morocco was not part.

A source close to the national airline Air Algérie said there have been no direct commercial flights between Algeria and Morocco since that date. “Flights between the two countries have not resumed and Algerians travelling to Morocco transit through Tunis.”

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Algiers’ decision will mostly affect Moroccan aircraft whose routes fly over Algerian territory in the immediate future. A source at Royal Air Maroc said the closure would only affect 15 flights weekly linking Morocco with Tunisia, Turkey and Egypt.

Despite the ongoing crisis between the two North African neighbours, Morocco has maintained its commitment to remain a “credible and loyal partner for the Algerian people.”

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