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New Avios partner coming: Royal Air Maroc is joining the oneworld airline alliance

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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:

Royal Air Maroc route map

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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Comments (47)

  • ankomonkey says:

    “Star Alliance already has Ethiopian and South African…” and EgyptAir?

    • marcw says:

      He probably just copied some press release…

      • Rob says:

        No, I did think about this. Technically, Egypt is in BOTH Asia and Africa whilst also being a Middle Eastern country. I decided it didn’t really count as ‘Africa’ on that basis.

        • marcw says:

          What a BS explanation – Middle East is not a geographical separation based on continents (there is actually some middle east in europe as well). The majority of Egypt’s mass and population is in the African continent.

          Spain is in both Europe and Africa – so applying your logic… we can’t consider Iberia an European airline either.

          Anyway, according to Rob, if you are flying with EgyptAir you are not flying an African airline. LoL.

        • Peter K says:

          @marcw I actually get Rob’s reasoning. I view the Middle East as it’s own separate area, almost like a mini-continent.
          I would put Egypt as an African country personally, but Israel next door as Middle East. Where do you draw the line… Maybe a personal decision? After all, Israel won the Eurovision Song contest!

        • marcw says:

          It is very difficult to draw a line, I agree. But we can argue whether Egypt is or not a Middle Eastern country, but it is an African country. Culturally they may be different from all other African countries and perhaps more linked to the traditional Middle Eastern culture. But that doesn’t imply that they are not an African country.
          We could use geological features to separate regions (because humans love to classify, separate everything). Tectonic plates and major geological structures has been used to separate regions traditionally (and, in fact, countries). This should be the most objective way of separating regions, which is as system (I think) the UN nations uses. The problem is, with time and history, politics and geopolitics get involved and mess up everything, and now even the MENA region exists.
          Furthermore, using Middle East (or Near East or Far East) is very egocentric, as if Europe (or UK for that matter) is the center of the world.
          Perhaps we should ask Egyptians whether they feel Africans, Middle Eastern, or both. Any Egyptians around?

  • Joe Carr says:

    This is a terrible airline, I flew them once to Gabon, via Morocco.

    Never again!!

  • ThinkSquare says:

    I can’t see 21 new countries on that map. Nor can I see connections from Manchester. Something not quite right here.

  • Concerto says:

    I wonder if RAM could be an alternative to Iberia and the defunct Air Berlin for getting from Germany/Switzerland to the Canaries.

    • marcw says:

      RAM only flies to Gran Canaria and Tenerife North. I think no airline offers such an incredible good network to the Canaries like Iberia/Express. Notably, Air Berlin had a fantastic network there with incredibly good redemption options.
      Nevertheless, in low season a cheap Ryanair/easyJet/Laudair … should get you there for peanuts.

  • DaveF says:

    I flew RAM from MAN-Casablanca in Sept and credited Iberia earning Avios. Lovely flight and auto credit with no hassles. Was cheap, 1st bag included. I’d recommend them every day.

    Used TAP via LIS on the return, that was a different story.

    If I can fly on miles via RAK to the rest of Africa on Avios that opens up a huge redemption opportunity for me.

  • Prins Polo says:

    Flew RAM last year via Casablanca to Fez and it was a little bit of a third world experience… I won’t be jumping on that wagon again.

    Flights can be credited to Iberia to get (some) Avios in the meantime.

  • Pierre says:

    Worked for that airline on a couple of occasions, and had a couple of onsite visits there.
    Dirty planes, crap lounges in Morocco, awful food in Y,…
    oh, and they managed to lose my bag on a CMN-RAK flight (no connection involved)
    I’d rather go via CDG on AF or even IST on TK just to avoid that airline again.