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Marrakech travel advice: Is it safe to travel to Morocco right now?

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The death toll is rising following a catastrophic earthquake in Morocco late at night on Friday 8 September. Many hundreds of people have been killed and injured after the 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck.

The epicentre is about 70km (43 miles) southwest of Marrakech – the fourth-biggest city in Morocco, and by far the most popular draw for international visitors.

Thousands of British holidaymakers are in the area, with many more booked to go there this weekend and later in September. This is the travel picture – with much still unknown.

How many British holidaymakers are in the vicinity?

The Independent calculates from flight data that around 5,000-8,000 UK holidaymakers are in the Marrakech area. Many are staying in the ancient heart of the city, or in modern hotels on the outskirts.

Trekking in the Atlas mountains is also popular, particularly in autumn when temperatures start to drop.

Is Marrakech airport still open and operating?

A large number of UK flights arrived in Marrakech on Friday, including British Airways, easyJet and Tui from London Gatwick, easyJet from Luton, Ryanair from London Stansted and Tui from Birmingham and Manchester.

The return legs departed normally before the earthquake struck.

Since the earthquake, flights at Marrakech airport have continued to operate normally. Saturday morning’s operations began with the usual Royal Air Maroc flight to Casablanca, followed by departures on Air France, Ryanair, Transavia and Tui to a number of French airports. Two Ryanair flights from Marrakech to Brussels and Beauvais in northern France have been cancelled.

Flights from UK airports on Saturday are scheduled as follows:

  • British Airways from London Heathrow
  • EasyJet from Gatwick
  • Ryanair from Manchester and Stansted (two flights)
  • Wizz Air from Gatwick

Some of the aircraft are already in the air.

What are the options for British travellers who want to leave the area?

At present there are no plans for an airlift. In the absence of confirmation to the contrary, the assumption will be that you travel home as planned.

British Airways has put on a larger aircraft for its flight from Marrakech on Saturday evening, to allow as many BA passengers as possible who want to come home early to do so.

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