State Department to Help Americans Stranded in Morocco Fly Home

The United States Department of State and the U.S. Mission to Morocco said that they have arranged for American citizens and permanent residents who have been stranded in Morocco to fly home.

The travelers had been stuck in the country since Sunday, when the kingdom announced that it was suspending all flights into and out of the country.

An email sent to Americans enrolled in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program said that the flights will leave from Marrakesh Menara Airport on Friday beginning at 11:30 a.m.

“These flights will include a Marrakech to London Heathrow leg and an onward connecting flight to one of 10 cities in the USA served by British Airways,” the email said.

The travelers were told the one-way flights will cost $1,485 and will take them to one of 10 airports around the country that have been designated as entry points during the coronavirus crisis. Those who want to take the flights were told to send an email to a State Department address and they will be contacted if there is a seat for them. The seats will be assigned in the order that the emails are received.

Before boarding the flight in Morocco, passengers will have to sign a promissory note for the airfare promising to reimburse the government for the flight. Cash and credit cards won’t be accepted.

“You will be responsible for any arrangements or costs (lodging, onward destination or local transportation, etc.) beyond your initial destination in the USA,” the email said. “Exact departure time and routing are subject to change.”

Thousands of Americans had been stuck in the Morocco, according to the American ambassador, David T. Fischer. Many of them had complained that the American government had done little to help them, even as British and French authorities were scrambling to bring their citizens home.

President Trump was asked about the problem at a news conference on Thursday, and he said, “We know about it,” and then addressed the issue of stranded travelers in Peru.

On Thursday afternoon, Mr. Fischer said in a video posted to the embassy in Morocco’s Twitter and Facebook pages that the safety of Americans abroad was a priority for the State Department.

“We have received your phone calls, your emails, we’ve heard the stories, and as soon as we have guidance we will be sending a message via email to everyone enrolled in our S.T.E.P system.”


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