Moroccan fans were left disappointed after the country’s national airline announced that it was cancelling scheduled flights to Doha. The news meant that plans to witness the historic semi-finals match between Morocco and France were shattered.

Undelivered promises

Major Moroccan airline Royal Air Maroc had initially promised to provide an additional 30 flights to accommodate the many Moroccan fans eager to attend the world cup semi-finals. In a post on their Instagram (@royalairmaroc), the Moroccan airline described the proposal as “a unique offer” as they were willing to help fans travel to Qatar. The statement came after Morocco’s FA confirmed that they would give away 13,000 free tickets to the event, leading Royal Air Maroc to accommodate the extra people planning to fly out to Qatar’s capital.

However, the prospect of 30 extra flights was short-lived as affiliated travel agencies later announced that the airline would only be providing seven additional flights on Tuesday. The planes were set to carry around 200 passengers each.

A Royal Air Maroc plane flying through the sky
Hundreds of people missed out on attending the semi-finals match | © Steve Parsons

Are Qatari Officials to blame?

On Wednesday, Qatari officials reportedly made the decision to block all of the additional Royal Air Maroc flights. The Moroccan airline said in a statement to the Reuters News Agency, “Following the latest restrictions imposed by the Qatari authorities, Royal Air Maroc regrets to inform customers of the cancellation of their flights operated by Qatar Airways.”

The reasoning behind Qatari officials’ blocking is currently unknown.

Disappointment for Moroccan supporters

The aftermath of the frustrating news has angered many Moroccan fans who had already paid for the special offer tickets and accommodation in Qatar. These individuals have now been left out of pocket. Many had paid for hotel rooms for what was meant to be an enjoyable trip to watch the World Cup and have lost out financially.

A Moroccan football fan hold ups a scarf with "MOROCCO" written across
Morocco fans left heartbroken over cancelled flights | © Getty Images

Royal Air Maroc has apologised to its customers and has said that it will reimburse all affected ticket holders. Nevertheless, numerous supporters have expressed anger and sadness towards both the airline and Qatari officials since the cancellations.

What do you think about the decision to cancel Royal Air Maroc flights? Were you one of those affected? Let us know in the comments.

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