British Airways is to launch new services to Marrakech from London Gatwick next year in direct competition with low cost carriers.
Richard Tams, head of UK and Ireland Sales and Marketing, said: "British Airways offers a real alternative to discerning travellers to Morocco. Unlike the low cost carriers, we offer fantastic all-inclusive fares with no stealth extras. The benefits you get on BA at no extra charge include a generous baggage allowance, drinks and snacks and much more.
"Marrakech adds another fabulous destination to our leisure network at Gatwick and I am confident it will be a huge success. It's a great starting point to explore Morocco; from trekking in the Atlas Mountains to exploring its amazing deserts and beaches and soaking up the atmosphere of the many medinas."
The chief executive officer of the Moroccan National Tourist Office, Mr Hamid Addou, welcomed the announcement and said: "We're delighted that British Airways is returning to Morocco and Marrakech, where we know that there is a strong demand from the UK tourist market for flagship carriers.
"Marrakech is one of the key tourism destinations in the southern Europe and Africa regions. Its brand image is very strong and we will reinforce it in our joint marketing programme."
A mix of Boeing 737s and Airbus A319s will operate the thrice-weekly service, which departs Gatwick on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, returning the same evening.
British Airways offers a wide range of hotels suitable for all types of holidays in Marrakech. Traditional Moroccan architecture and surrounds can be experienced in the three-star Moroccan hotel, or right in the centre of the authentical Medina, minutes walk from the Souks and the famous Place Djemma el Fnaa is the four-star Riad Karmela. For those seeking paradise of light and magical fragrances coupled with a 27-hole golf course, designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr, the award-winning five-star Palmeraie Golf Palace is the place to visit.
British Airways last flew to Marrakech as GB Airways. The service operated from October 2002 until March 2008, when the route was discontinued following GB's takeover by easyJet.
British Airways operates to 42 domestic, European and longhaul destinations perfect for Florida and Caribbean holidays from Gatwick and carries approximately five million customers a year through the airport. BA regularly outperforms all other Gatwick carriers to produce punctuality levels of more than 90 per cent.
British Airways customers benefit by choosing a flight with the airline due to no extra charges for a 23kg checked baggage allowance, two pieces of hand luggage, complimentary drinks and a snack on board, allocated seats for all, priority boarding for young families, centrally located airports and great punctuality performance. High value offered by British Airways compared to no-frills carriers can be viewed on the value calculator on ba.com.