Royal Air Maroc to Join oneworld Alliance in 2020

Royal Air Maroc is the latest airline to join the oneworld alliance, which is expected to occur sometime during the middle of the year 2020; while Royal Air Maroc Express — which is its regional subsidiary — will simultaneously join as a oneworld affiliate member.

Royal Air Maroc to Join oneworld Alliance in 2020

This means that greater than one million members of the Safar Flyer frequent flier loyalty program of the flag carrier of Morocco will be able to earn and redeem rewards on all oneworld member airlines and enjoy the full range of oneworld customer services and benefits — including the use of greater than 650 airport lounges worldwide for its top tier members.

Royal Air Maroc will be the first full member of the oneworld alliance from Africa, which is the only continent — apart from Antarctica — where the alliance previously had no full member. Comair — which is based in South Africa — has been an affiliate airline of oneworld since the alliance was launched in 1999; and it currently flies as a franchisee of British Airways. It already offers code-shares with Iberia, S7 Airlines, and Qatar Airways.

Although Fiji Airways links to the oneworld alliance from today as its first oneworld connect partner — which is the first new membership platform since the alliance was established — Royal Air Maroc is the first full member recruit globally since 2012.

About Royal Air Maroc

Under its ambitious growth plan of five years, the fleet of airplanes of Royal Air Maroc will be significantly expanded to carry 13 million passengers a year across a global network serving 121 destinations in 68 countries — which will add another 15 destinations and nine countries to the oneworld alliance network — giving the oneworld alliance a total of 1,084 destinations in 187 countries and territories. Currently, the airline serves 94 destinations in 49 countries across Africa, Europe, the Middle East, North America and South America — including oneworld hub airports Doha, London Heathrow, Madrid, Moscow Domodedovo, New York, and São Paulo.

As one of the fastest growing airlines in Africa, Royal Air Maroc carried 7.3 million passengers in 2017 on an average of 245 daily departures; and plans to increase the frequencies of flights are being implemented. Its current fleet of 55 aircraft is centered on Boeing 737-800 airplanes and Embraer 190 airplanes on short-haul and medium-haul routes, with Boeing 767 and Boeing 787-8 “Dreamliner” airplanes flying on long-haul routes. The airline received its first Boeing 787-900 “Dreamliner” airplanes in December of 2018. Royal Air Maroc Express — which is its regional affiliate airline — operates five ATR 72 airplanes.

Royal Air Maroc is one of the leading airlines of Africa which offers business class and economy class cabins on most international routes — including seats which convert to angle lie-flat beds in its premium cabins.

It is undergoing significant investment in product and marketing, with a new brand image and marketing content, cabin refits, redesign and new uniforms all planned in the coming months. In the past five years, its improved service and quality levels have been recognised with Skytrax raising its quality rating to four stars.

The name Royal Air Maroc was adopted on Friday, June 28, 1957, which is greater than 61 years ago; and Hajj flights — in service for the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca — were launched in 1957 as well. The country of Morocco owns 98 percent of the airline, which in 2017 employed 5,413 people and generated revenues of US$1.7 billion with its subsidiaries, resulting in operating profits of US$48.5 million.

Summary

I would have liked to have earned American Airlines AAdvantage miles when I was a passenger on my first two flights with Royal Air Maroc a few months ago. I guess I was two years too early. Oh, well…

…but Royal Air Maroc — which is currently still the largest unaligned carrier in Africa — is certainly not the first airline based in Africa to join an alliance as a member. Kenya Airways joined the SkyTeam alliance as an associate member in September of 2007 and achieved full membership in June of 2010; and EgyptAir, Ethiopian Airlines and South African Airways are all members of Star Alliance.

The oneworld alliance was launched on Monday, February 1, 1999 — meaning that next month, the alliance will celebrate 20 years since it was founded.

That Royal Air Maroc will be a full member of the oneworld alliance means more flight options for passengers — and that is usually a good thing…

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

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