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When does Royal Air Maroc join the oneworld alliance? And where does it fly?

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It was announced back in 2018 that Royal Air Maroc would be joining the oneworld airline alliance at some point in 2020.

French aviation site Air Journal reports – in what seems to be a reliable story – that oneworld and the airline have agreed that membership will begin on 31st March 2020.  This means that you can earn and spend Avios on Royal Air Maroc from 31st March.

Royal Air Maroc opens up a lot of new options in Africa.  oneworld has, to date, been lacking a full member in Africa, putting it at a disadvantage vs SkyTeam (Kenya Airways) and Star Alliance (Ethiopian Airlines and South African).

Royal Air Maroc Express, the regional subsidiary, will become an affiliate member of oneworld.

oneworld alliance tailfins

Which airlines are in the oneworld alliance?

oneworld will have 14 full members once Royal Air Maroc is integrated.  As well as British Airways, 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 a looser ‘oneworld connect’ member.

It won’t be 14 for long, of course, as LATAM is leaving in October 2020.  It remains to be seen if Air Europa will become a full member if it is eventually acquired by IAG.  It is also possible that Aer Lingus seeks to become a full member at some point.

Where can you redeem Avios on Royal Air Maroc?

Royal Air Maroc has a bigger network than you might think.  It flies to 100 cities in 49 countries.  Impressively, 21 of these countries currently have no oneworld flights at all.

Here is a route map, which is slightly out of date but is the current one on their website, of where Royal Air Maroc flies from its Casablanca base – click to enlarge:

Royal Air Maroc route map

Here are a few things you will be able to do on Royal Air Maroc from 31st March:

Fly direct from Manchester to Casablanca (Summer only)

Fly direct from London Heathrow and London Gatwick to Casablanca (British Airways does not fly to Casablanca so this is a new Avios option)

Fly from Casablanca to five North American cities – Boston, Miami, Montreal, New York, Washington

Fly from Casablanca to Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Beijing, Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Dubai

Fly from Casablanca to a very wide range of African cities – see the map above

When does Royal Air Maroc join oneworld?

What does Royal Air Maroc fly?

It is 20 years since I flew with RAM, but the fleet looks impressive on paper.  The long-haul fleet is primarily brand new Boeing 787 aircraft, with fully flat beds in Business Class.

Here’s the real treat though:  looking at this review here, short-haul Business Class has ‘proper’ seating.  It is a 2 x 2 layout, as opposed to the ‘3 x 3 with a blocked middle seat’ approach taken by the European carriers.

This could mean a very relaxing trip down to Casablanca if you want a weekend away with a difference.

Would you really want to fly long haul via Casablanca?

On the face of it, it seems unlikely that you’d want to divert via Casablanca to get to New York!  It is slightly less of a diversion from Rio, Sao Paulo etc.

There are two scenarios under which this might work, however:

on cash tickets, if Royal Air Maroc had good Business Class sale fares.  You would earn 40 + 140 + 140 + 40 = 260 tier points return on most routes from London or Manchester via Casablanca.

on Avios tickets, IF taxes and charges are very low.  We won’t know until 31st March how low (or not) the taxes and charges will be but there might be some interesting options.  

When does Royal Air Maroc join oneworld?

One thing remains a mystery …..

Three 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 (38)

  • ilou says:

    I am Morcoccan .. so this is big news for me as I usually have to pay 400-500£ for flights to Casablanca during holidays to go back to see the family .. I have ~50k safar flyers points as RAM allows you to pool family points into account.. even grand parents can also be part of the household

    With regards to availabilities, there are usually 2 seats available for each flight for both economy and business.. I have seen more availabilities in the past in low season

    RAM has a decent product for both economy and business I would say.. Nothing amazing but good and usually reliable

  • Dev says:

    Have heard that in flight service is good on RAM. But the airport is, well, how shall I put it without causing offence? If HFP and HFPers describe MAN as a horrible experience to fly from, then wait till you get to CMN.

    • ilou says:

      Yeah.. it can get really crowded especially during hajj/pilgrimage season

      The good news RAM has now a terminal for its own flights that has just been renovated

      Families usually get priority across security and there is a decent Priority Pass lounge as well

      • Bagoly says:

        A bit like some Qatar flights – the offering designed by management is good, but one may have to take the initiative to make it happen:

        Eighteen months ago I overnighted in Casablanca going from Frankfurt to Sao Paolo.
        On arrival in the indeed-2-2-across Business Class there was a dedicated minibus to take me, the sole such passenger to the terminal.
        Departing the next day, I went through the Business lane at the gate and there was just one big ‘bus with a long queue.
        I turned to a member of staff (there are always lots around) and asked “Est-ce qu’il y a un ‘bus pour la classe affaires?”
        A dedicated minibus arrived two minutes later.

        The champagnes on both flights were good, but even with prompting, the pour rate was well below BA or Qatar.

    • Anna says:

      MAN is only horrible by European standards. I’ve arrived and departed from a few huts in my time. Even at GCM until recently the public waiting area was on the roof, and planes still aren’t allowed to take off fully fuelled because the runway isn’t reinforced to international standards 😯

  • Dev says:

    It’s a fantastic addition if work (or leisure) takes you into the deep heart of West Africa albeit with 737s and some nasty timings!

    Similarly, it’s an alternative to travelling via Brussels if you want go from say Lagos to Bamako or some other journey solely within West Africa.

  • Ashic Mahtab says:

    Any notion of South American presence for One World once Latam exits? Gain Africa and lose South America?

  • Steve says:

    My thought with Air Maroc is that I really don’t trust them at all, I just would not get on one of their aircraft.  Their air traffic control service is… insert a verb to describe a grade lower than amateur.

    then there is this near-accident in 2016 at Frankfurt that the airline covered up that always haunts me…
    https://youtu.be/-KnhcLup0Io

  • Maxine Chivers says:

    I am very sad that LATAM is leaving One World in October 2020. I am keen on its routes in South America. Royal Air Maroc is joining however it doesn’t serve Madagascar or Mauritius. It seems to cover North Africa, Europe and West Africa. I went to Casablanca in 2015 and the mosque is very beautiful. I would love to fly on it to China.

    I wonder how I could do a round the world trip using Avios

    • Shoestring says:

      RTW should be easy enough with the bigger Oneworld players – but the problem is, your route might not take in enough interesting places where you actually want to spend a decent amount of time

      in other words, circumnavigating the globe isn’t difficult, but fitting in (say) South America and SE Asia could be quite tricky