Unprecedented Crowding at Marrakech’s Menara International Airport


    Various national and international media outlets, as well as social media platforms, have recently circulated images of unprecedented crowding at the Marrakech’s Menara International Airport, especially over the past weekend. The situation is expected to persist due to an increase in the number of flights to and from the airport.

    According to official sources, the kingdom’s second largest airport recorded 537 international flights between 1st and 7th April, which increased to 550 flights between 8th and 14th April. The average daily recorded flights continued to rise to 174 international flights (to and from) between 15th and 21st April, totalling 1200 flights. The rise is mainly attributed to the growing number of tourists who have chosen Marrakech for their vacations at this peak tourist period, as well as the increase in the number of low-cost flights to and from Marrakech.

    The response to the reported crowding came quickly with talks about launching a tender to expand Marrakech’s airport soon. The expansion is expected to be completed before the 2030 FIFA World Cup.

    Contrary to what many might assume, some see these images of crowding as a potential means to promote Morocco as a tourist destination that has been seeing increased attention in recent years, along with the government’s efforts in this direction. In particular, Morocco is aiming to host more than 17 million tourists by 2026.

    On the other hand, professionals view last Sunday’s pictures as an early warning for Moroccan authorities to work on expanding the infrastructure of several airports, notably Marrakech, especially since the country is preparing to host a number of events and functions, with the World Cup being the largest of them all.