Casablanca-based Royal Air Maroc announced on Wednesday that it is joining the oneworld alliance, the airline alliance which includes British Airways. oneworld is one of the three global airline alliances, with other two being Star Alliance and SkyTeam.
This gives the oneworld alliance an African member for the first time, if you don’t count BA franchise Comair. Star Alliance already has Ethiopian and South African in its ranks whilst SkyTeam has Kenya Airways.
Once it becomes a full member, you will be able to earn British Airways tier points and Avios, as well as spend Avios, on Royal Air Maroc flights. This is not scheduled to happen until mid-2020, however, as substantial IT work is required to get the partnership in place.
Royal Air Maroc Express, the regional subsidiary, will become an affiliate member of oneworld.
oneworld will have 14 members once Royal Air Maroc is integrated. As well as BA, the other airlines involved, on which you can already earn and spend Avios, are: American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LATAM, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines and Sri Lankan Airlines. Fiji Airlines is also joining as a looser ‘oneworld connect’ member.
Here is a screenshot of where Royal Air Maroc flies from its Casablanca base – click to enlarge:
The airline flies to 94 destinations in 49 countries, carrying 7.3 million passengers per year on a fleet of 55 aircraft. Long-haul routes include New York, Washington, Montreal, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo which primarily use new Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners. You can connect from Manchester, London Heathrow and London Gatwick via Casablanca.
The real benefit, though, is the addition of numerous new African destinations to the oneworld route map. The alliance gains 34 new destinations and a surprising 21 additional countries.
The addition of Royal Air Maroc will also allow you to earn Avios and tier points on flights to Casablanca, a route no longer offered by British Airways.
One thing remains a mystery …..
Two years ago, Royal Air Maroc announced that it was adopting Avios as the currency of its Safar Flyer loyalty programme. Since then ….. radio silence. I have no idea if this deal is now dead or not.
Overall, whilst this isn’t an airline I can see myself using in the short-term, it is a good addition to oneworld and adds some valuable new destinations to the network.
You can find out more about Royal Air Maroc on its website here.
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