Morocco’s lag carrier Royal Air Maroc will join the oneworld alliance effective 1 April, becoming oneworld’s first full member in the African continent and bringing even more destinations and benefits for oneworld’s frequent flyers.
The entry of Royal Air Maroc into oneworld from 1 April follows a 15-month implementation program to integrate Royal Air Maroc into the alliance. The airline’s regional subsidiary Royal Air Maroc Express will also join as a oneworld affiliate member from 1 April.
Royal Air Maroc was first announced as a oneworld member-elect in New York in December 2018, weeks before oneworld celebrated its 20th anniversary and launched a transformation of the alliance. oneworld and Royal Air Maroc will host a joining ceremony in March in Marrakesh to celebrate the airline coming on board.
Royal Air Maroc will add 39 new destinations in 23 countries to the oneworld network, offering more flights and options for the frequent flyers of the alliance’s member airlines.
Royal Air Maroc connects its base in Casablanca with 108 destinations in 54 countries over six regions – Africa, Asia, Europe, Middle East, North America and South America. These include oneworld hubs at Amman, Doha, London Heathrow, Madrid, Miami, Moscow Domodedovo and New York John F Kennedy.
Effective 1 April, oneworld frequent flyers will enjoy the full range of oneworld benefits and services when travelling with Royal Air Maroc. The more than one million members of Royal Air Maroc’s Safar Flyer loyalty program will be able to earn and redeem awards on all oneworld member airlines effective 1 April.
Top tier members of Safar Flyer will have access to oneworld’s network of 650 lounges worldwide, and other benefits including priority check-in and boarding.
Safar Flyer Platinum card holders will enjoy oneworld Priority Emerald privileges, which include access to First and Business Class lounges, First Class priority check-in, priority boarding and fast track at select security lanes. Safar Flyer Gold card holders can look forward to oneworld Priority Sapphire privileges, including access to Business Class lounges, Business Class priority check-in and priority boarding. Safar Flyer Silver card holders will have access to oneworld Priority Ruby privileges, including Business Class priority check-in among other benefits.
Flights operated by Royal Air Maroc will be available as part of the oneworld Explorer and Global Explorer fare products beginning 1 April.
Royal Air Maroc already codeshares with five oneworld members – American Airlines, Iberia, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian and S7 Airlines – with more partnerships expected in the coming months. American Airlines has also announced service to Casablanca from 4 June 2020, marking the airline’s entrance into Africa.
“We are honoured and delighted to welcome Royal Air Maroc into the alliance, adding our first full member in the fast-growing African continent. The quality service and global network offered by Royal Air Maroc will position oneworld as the preferred alliance in Africa, where Casablanca is a leading global financial centre,” said Rob Gurney, CEO of oneworld. “We want to thank the team at Royal Air Maroc for all their hard work in the past year to prepare for its historic entrance into oneworld, and look forward to celebrating with them in Marrakesh in March.”
“We are proud and excited to become the wings of oneworld in Africa and we are looking forward to a very successful cooperation that benefits our mutual clients. While the average duration of the integration process varies between 18 and 20 months, it would take us just 15 months, between the invitation and the official integration, to become a full member of the prestigious oneworld Alliance. This is mainly due to the fact that our systems were at a higher level, which facilitated their alignment with those of the Alliance; and also thanks to the great efforts of our teams, who were motivated to lead successfully this grandiose project for Royal Air Maroc and the Kingdom,” said Abdelhamid Addou, Chief Executive Officer of Royal Air Maroc.
Royal Air Maroc is oneworld’s first new full member to join the alliance since 2014. The entry of Royal Air Maroc is the latest milestone in a year of transformation for the leading global alliance. In the last 12 months, oneworld unveiled new digital technology to enable a truly seamless travel experience across member carriers and announced plans for the first oneworld branded lounge at Moscow Domodedovo Airport. The alliance also introduced a fresh brand positioning and tagline, Travel Bright, to kick off the alliance’s third decade and better reflect the millennial generation of today’s travellers.
oneworld has embarked on this path of transformation as it continues its track record of being the most awarded global alliance. In 2019, it took home no fewer than eight airline alliance awards, and was the repeat winner of all of them, reinforcing its status as the preferred alliance of customers and the travel community.
Royal Air Maroc carried last year 7.5 million passengers on an average of 245 daily departures. Its current fleet of 60 aircraft is centered on Boeing 737-800s and Embraer 190s on short to medium-haul routes, with Boeing 767 and Boeing 787-8s flying longhaul services. Its regional affiliate Royal Air Maroc Express operates five ATR 72s.
Under its five-year growth plan, its fleet will increase significantly, as it extends the reach of its network from 94 destinations to 121. It will also raise frequencies in many established markets making virtually all short and medium-haul markets at least daily and, in many cases, multiple frequencies a day, turning its Casablanca base into a fully-fledged transfer hub.
Royal Air Maroc offers a two-class Business and Economy product on most international routes, including seats that convert to angle lie-flat beds in its premium cabin. In 2018, the airline and its subsidiaries generated revenues of $1.7 billion, achieving operating profits of $16.2 million. It employs almost 4,000 people. Royal Air Maroc, which celebrated the 60th anniversary of its foundation in 2018, is 98 per cent owned by the state of Morocco.