Morocco’s national airline Royal Air Maroc has denied accusations that it discriminates between passengers based on their countries of origin, reports Moroccan news site TelQuel.

A Liberian minister has been filmed complaining that US nationals were given complimentary hotel rooms when a flight transfer was delayed in Casablanca, while African passengers were left to sleep on the airport floor:

A representative for the airline has denied discriminatory practices, telling TelQuel that “passengers whose transfer time is 12 hours or longer are entitled to a hotel room whatever their nationality”.

But the spokesperson said the airline had only been able to reserve hotel rooms for those nationalities who had visas, giving them the right to leave the airport and enter Moroccan territory. “American, French, and Senegalese travellers don’t need visas to stay in Morocco”, they added.

Disgruntled passengers without visas had been offered hotel rooms inside the airport, the airline spokesperson went on to say.

The Royal Air Maroc representative is also quoted as saying attempts to secure temporary visas for passengers proved fruitless because the documents would not be ready in time.