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Who wants to go to Ouagadougou? Royal Air Maroc is now in oneworld and an Avios partner

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Who wants to go to Ouagadougou?  If it’s on your bucket list, you can now fly there with Avios.

Royal Air Maroc joined the oneworld alliance on 1st April.  Unsurprisingly, given that the airline has currently grounded its entire fleet, it was a very low key event.

This is a more significant move than you might think.  Royal Air Maroc opens up a lot of new Avios 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.

Which airlines are in the oneworld alliance?

oneworld now has 13 full members.  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, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines and Sri Lankan Airlines.  Fiji Airlines is a looser ‘oneworld connect’ member.

(For the next four weeks there are still 14 members, as LATAM does not leave until 30th April.)

Alaska Airlines is due to replace LATAM as the 14th member at some point.

It remains to be seen if Air Europa will become a full member if – and this is now a big ‘if’ – the acquisition by IAG still goes ahead.  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Here is a route map which is slightly out of date (the Boston route is missing for a start) but is the current one on their website.  It shows where Royal Air Maroc flies from its Casablanca base – click to enlarge:

Royal Air Maroc route map

Here are a few things you can now do on Royal Air Maroc when it starts operating again:

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

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 from London or Manchester to Casablanca if you want a weekend away with a difference.

Note that Royal Air Maroc uses Heathrow Terminal 4.

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 to Rio, Sao Paulo etc.

There are two scenarios under which this might work:

on cash tickets, if Royal Air Maroc had good Business Class sale fares.  You would earn 80 + 140 + 140 + 80 = 440 tier points return on most routes from London or Manchester via Casablanca.

on Avios tickets, IF taxes and charges are very low – we don’t know this yet as reward flights are not yet loaded

When does Royal Air Maroc join oneworld?

How many Avios will I earn on Royal Air Maroc?

British Airways has already updated with the earning rates for Royal Air Maroc flights.

Click for the airline partners page and scroll down to the Royal Air Maroc section.

Here is the key information from that page:

Minimum Avios:  No
Avios tier bonus?  No
Collect Tier Points?  Yes

Avios awarded (percentage of flown miles)
Economy lowest (W, P, G) 25%
Economy low (K, M, L, V, S, N, Q, O, T, R) 50%
Economy flexible (Y, B, H) 100%
Business flexible (J, C, D, I) 125%

It is exactly as expected.  Your earn Avios and British Airways Executive Club tier points.  You do not get an Avios bonus if you have Gold, Silver or Bronze status – this is usually reserved for IAG-owned airlines and those with whom British Airways has joint venture agreements.

How many British Airways tier points will I earn on Royal Air Maroc?

RAM has also been added to the British Airways Avios and Tier Point Calculator.

The good news is that London / Manchester to Casablanca shows as 80 tier points each way in Business Class.  This means that a short break would get you 160 tier points return.

(You would not normally earn 80 tier points on a oneworld partner flight – the usual rule is 40 tier points for business class flights under 2,000 miles and 140 tier points for flights over 2,000 miles.  This is an exception due to the British Airways codeshare arrangement with Royal Air Maroc.  For clarity, you don’t need to book under the BA codeshare to get 80 tier points.)

More interestingly, Stockholm to Casablanca is 140 tier points each way in Business Class as it is over 2,000 miles.  Istanbul to Casablanca is also 140 tier points.

You could, in theory, book yourself London to Istanbul return for 160 tier points, nest an Istanbul to Casablanca return for 280 tier points, and pick up 440 tier points from a short break.

Royal Air Maroc is not known as a cheap carrier, however, due to the lack of competition flying to Casablanca.  I’m not sure that the prospects for good value tier point runs are so good in reality

What are the taxes on Avios redemptions?

We don’t know.  Unfortunately, Avios redemptions have not yet been added into the BA system.

You can work out the number of Avios required for any particular route by looking at the mileage-based chart for British Airways partner redemptions which is in this article.

Our beginner’s guide to redeeming Avios points here includes the Avios ‘price list’ for partner airlines.


Overall, Royal Air Maroc is a good addition to oneworld and adds some valuable new destinations to the network.  Hopefully we can try out London to Casablanca at some point later this year.

You can find out more about Royal Air Maroc on its website here.

PS. Ouagadougou is the capital of Burkina Faso, and is one of the new destinations now added to the oneworld map.

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 2023)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (54)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Stan says:

    RAM have achieved Olympic standards for losing checked in baggage, just look at their FB page for peoples experiences. I was one of them. Terrible customer care when you try to resolve the issue – no phone number to call and only one email address which they don’t monitor. Hand baggage only or travel with bigger luggage at your own risk…

  • Sewa says:

    I’ll advise anyone against flying with Air Maroc. My experience with them was disastrous and criminal cruelty. I travelled from F/town to London in January 2020 I got off at London Heathrow and couldn’t find my luggage i made a complained and after few days I was told they’re going to compensate for the loss because a customer destroyed my luggage(customer)and that happens to be the last email to this day. Lost my valuable, gifts from friends and family and some memories stuffs that money can replace. Have send more than 10x of email just so we can understand going forward to no luck. Considering the brand I found their activities absurd and unreliable. Please be careful when dealing with them they’re not trustworthy and not just me .

  • Callum says:

    “This is a more significant move than you might think. Royal Air Maroc opens up a lot of new Avios options in Africa.”

    Why would anyone be surprised that an African airline flies to a lot of African destinations!

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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