How African migrants enter Spain by plane

by admin


After his flight with AirMaroc from Casablanca (Morocco) to Madrid, a Spanish businessman tells the newspaper El Español about his remarkable flight. The plane was filled with migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa, except for 10 Spaniards and Moroccans.

The flight took a lot longer than the usual two hours. It started with many of the passengers having no idea how to find their seats. It was clearly their first time flying. The aircraft was then disinfected. Something that this businessman had never experienced before. He also noticed that most passengers were clearly tired and stressed.

Check at aircraft exit

Upon arrival in Madrid, an identity and passport check was carried out immediately at the exit of the aircraft. Some passengers were stopped. There were also police cars present on the runway. On the walkway near the exit, the man found groups of thirty to forty people sitting on the ground. In Terminal 4 he saw another fifty, but without police. But “when we left the airport there was not a single sub-Saharan African there. ”, according to the account in El Español.

Royal Air Morocco

Most African migrants appear to enter Spain via routes between Morocco and Spain operated by Royal Air Maroc. They do this in two ways. The first and oldest is to buy a ticket to a country that does not require a visa and on a flight with a stopover in Spain. The second, which has been observed more frequently since the summer, is the purchase of passports that are accepted in a greater number of countries without the need for a visa. For example, citizens from Somalia have been traced with papers from Kenya. This allows them to travel through the international zone of Spanish airports. In that zone, passengers are allowed to apply for asylum to enter various Latin American countries.

Safer than via desert and sea for migrants

With Royal Air Maroc flights, migrants avoid the traditional and dangerous migration route through the Sahara desert to Algeria and from there to Morocco. In almost 100% of cases, they land on flights operated by Royal Air Maroc, the state-owned company of the Kingdom of Mohamed VI. They arrive in just a few hours from Senegal, Mauritania, Guinea Conakry, Sierra Leone or Gambia, thanks to the fact that Rabat does not require a visa.

The Spanish Ministry of the Interior is working on measures to prevent the fraudulent use of stopovers in Madrid. This includes the introduction of transit visas for certain nationalities. That step was recently taken for citizens of Kenya. This will soon also be applied to Segegalese citizens.

Cogesa Expats

Situation in Madrid

There are currently approximately 400 people at Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport. This includes around 100 women, some pregnant, and young children. They stay there under overcrowded and unsanitary conditions. Amnesty International is currently investigating this. The human rights organisation is concerned about the well-being of asylum seekers and their access to international protection.

Because the number of immigrants is increasing, the National Police opened the fourth asylum room in Terminal 1 this week. The new room joins the three existing ones in Terminal 1, 2 and 4 Satellite. This expands the area designated for asylum at the airport by 47%.

More asylum applications

In 2023, 3,386 asylum applications were made at border posts at Spanish airports. No fewer than 509 asylum requests were processed at Madrid-Barajas in December last year. Already 864 in January. Because there are more and more applications, there are also more delays in the procedures. According to European guidelines, the registration of an asylum application must take place between 3 and 10 days.

If this is not possible, the detention of the asylum applicants may not be extended for reasons that cannot be attributed to that person. The country in question must then, among other things, guarantee decent material reception conditions. In addition, asylum applicants must have access to high-quality legal assistance from the first moment and sufficient interpreters. Discussions should be conducted in an appropriate environment and with the necessary confidentiality. Finally, the airport authority, in collaboration with the Ministry of the Interior, must ensure that people can return via legal and safe routes if their asylum application is rejected.

Also read: Alarm sounds in the Canary Islands: migrant shelters almost exhausted

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