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Thu, 6 Dec 2018

Royal Air Maroc to Join oneworld Airline Alliance

 Royal Air Maroc is expected to become part of the oneworld airline alliance in mid-2020.

Its regional subsidiary, Royal Air Maroc Express, will join as a oneworld affiliate member at the same time.

As part of the alliance, Royal Air Maroc will offer the full range of oneworld customer services and benefits. More than 1 million members of the airline’s Safar Flyer loyalty program will be able to earn and redeem rewards on all oneworld member airlines and with its top-tier members able to use the alliance’s more than 650 airport lounges worldwide.

While Southern Africa’s Comair, which flies as a franchisee of British Airways, has been a oneworld affiliate member since the alliance launched in February 1999, Royal Air Maroc will be oneworld’s first full member from Africa — the only continent, apart from Antarctica, where the alliance hasn’t had a full member.

Royal Air Maroc Boeing 787. Click to enlarge.

It will also be the alliance’s first new full-member airline signed since 2012, although Fiji Airways now links to the alliance as the first partner of oneworld connect, the first new membership platform since the alliance was established.

Royal Air Maroc carried 7.3 million passengers last year on a fleet of 55 aircraft. The airline’s network currently connects its Mohammed V International Airport (CMN) base in Casablanca, Morocco, with 94 destinations in 49 countries across Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and North and South America, including oneworld hubs Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar (DOH)  Heathrow Airport in London (LHR); Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suarez Airport in Spain (MAD); Moscow Domodedovo Airport (DME); John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York (JFK) and Sao Paulo International Airport in Brazil (GRU).

The airline’s schedule will add 34 new destinations and 21 countries to the oneworld map, taking the alliance’s network to 1,069 airports in 178 countries and territories.

Under an ambitious five-year strategy, Royal Air Maroc plans to expand its fleet significantly, carrying 13 million customers a year across a global network serving 121 destinations in 68 countries. This will add another 15 destinations and nine countries to the alliance network, giving the alliance a total of 1,084 destinations in 187 countries and territories.

Three established oneworld member airlines — British Airways, Iberia and Qatar Airways — currently serve three destinations in Morocco between them: CMN, Marrakesh Menara Airport (RAK) and Tangier Ibn Battouta Airport (TNG).

Rob Gurney, oneworld CEO, said, “When we unveiled our new membership platform, oneworld connect, in June, we said that in the future, oneworld would target as full members large airlines that have a significant presence in the alliance’s prime target market, providing connections between the world’s leading business centers. Royal Air Maroc is growing into a truly global airline, with its home base Casablanca to be developed into Africa’s leading aviation gateway while also consolidating its place as Africa’s top financial center.”

Royal Air Maroc CEO Abdelhamid Addou said, “Royal Air Maroc is excited and honored to have been invited to become oneworld’s wings of Africa. We look forward to completing our flight on board speedily and smoothly so that we can offer the services and benefits of the world’s best airline alliance to our customers and across our own network as soon as possible. We will be flying alongside the finest collection of air carriers in the skies, while at the same time making it easier for people all over the world to reach our historic and beautiful part of the world. This undoubtedly represents one of the most significant landmarks in our airline’s 60-year history and on our journey to establish Royal Air Maroc as the leading airline of Africa.”

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