Royal Air Maroc to join oneworld

39 new destinations in 23 countries to be added to oneworld network
/ Kolkata
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Royal Air Maroc, the flag carrier of Morocco will join the oneworld alliance effective April 1, 2020, 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 follows a 15-month implementation programme 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 the same date.

Royal Air Maroc carried 7.5 million passengers in 2019 on an average of 245 daily departures. Its current fleet of 60 aircraft is centred on Boeing 737-800s and Embraer 190s on short to medium-haul routes, with Boeing 767 and Boeing 787-8s flying long-haul 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.

In 2018, the airline and its subsidiaries generated revenues of USD 1.7 billion, achieving operating profits of USD 16.2 million. It employs almost 4,000 people. Royal Air Maroc, which celebrated the 60th anniversary of its foundation in 2018, is 98 pc owned by the state of Morocco.

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. Royal Air Maroc and oneworld 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. The national carrier of Morocco, 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 April 1, oneworld frequent flyers will enjoy the full range of oneworld benefits and services when travelling by Royal Air Maroc. More than one million members of Royal Air Maroc’s Safar Flyer loyalty programme will be able to earn and redeem awards on all oneworld member airlines.

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 June 4, 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, the chief executive officer 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,” he stated.

“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, the chief executive officer of Royal Air Maroc.

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