Flights allowing the return of Moroccan migrants from the Canaries Islands suspended

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The four weekly flights operated by Moroccan national carrier Royal Air Maroc (RAM) and  authorized by the Spanish government to deport up to 80 Moroccans from the Canary Island every week have been suspended.

According to Spanish newspaper El Pais, the suspension comes as Morocco cancelled all commercial flights to Spain and France to stop the spread of the new coronavirus.

Police sources told El Pais that the Spanish authorities «are working to resume these flights as soon as possible». Initially, after the Moroccan announcement, sources from the Interior Ministry affirmed that the expulsion flights would be maintained.

«The suspension of deportation flights means for the Ministry of Interior to do without what it considers to be one of its main tools to contain illegal immigration to the archipelago», adds the same source, adding that out of the 23,000 migrants who arrived in the Canary Islands last year, half came from Morocco. Only 509 migrants were deported to their country.

In November, a month when a historic record of arrivals was broken with more than 8,000 people, Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska traveled to Rabat with the aim of paving a way for the expulsion of Moroccans from the islands. On December 7, a first flight of the Royal Air Maroc left the archipelago. 

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