Air Canada brings home 444 passengers from Morocco amid COVID-19 pandemic
MONTREAL -- Air Canada posted pictures and videos of passengers safely landing at Pierre Trudeau Airport in Dorval Saturday night on Twitter after being stranded in Morocco after the global COVID-19 pandemic forced emergency airport closures.
The airline said the plane carried 444 passengers and touched down at 11:07 p.m.
Air Canada said the flight was “the first of our special flights to bring Canadian citizens home.”
The Facebook page “Stuck in Morocco” has been posting updates of those still stuck in the country trying to navigate the complicated transportation and accommodation system while the COVID-19 pandemic affects all forms of transport.
“Hundreds of people are still stuck in Morocco,” reads a post from the group including a series of posts citing conditions for those in the country.
Issues include not being able to travel between cities, travellers being charged exorbitant amounts for taxi rides and airport and hotel closures.
Air Canada announced Friday that the special flight would happen last night, and that Global Affairs Canada is coordinating local arrangements for those wishing to return home.
Canadians abroad are asked to contact local embassies and consulates for more information.
The Canadian government announced that it will provide financial assistance for those abroad directly impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Air Canada said Friday that the return flight was only for Canadian citizens, permanent residents and members of their immediate family holding a valid travel document and that “all passengers will undergo a health screening before boarding the aircraft.”
Any passengers with COVID-19 symptoms “will be denied boarding unless they can present a medical certificate confirming any symptoms are not related to COVID-19,” the airline said in a news release.
Upon arrival, all passengers were requested to self-isolate for two weeks.