Today I want to look at how to redeem Avios on Royal Air Maroc flights.
As we covered last month, Royal Air Maroc joined the oneworld alliance on 1st April. This 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 – if it survives – South African).
Where does Royal Air Maroc fly?
It flies to 100 cities in 49 countries. Impressively, 21 of these countries previously had no oneworld flights at all. This map is a bit old (Boston needs adding) but is the latest available:
In this article, I want to talk about the three routes which will be of interest to UK residents:
Manchester to Casablanca (Summer only)
London Heathrow to Casablanca
London Gatwick to Casablanca
Our older article tells you how many Avios and British Airways tier points you earn on Royal Air Maroc. When we wrote that article, however, redemptions were not yet bookable.
Now they are.
How much are Avios flights to Casablanca with Royal Air Maroc?
A lot, unfortunately. The taxes and charges are bordering on crazy.
Here is London Heathrow to Casablanca in Economy – 22,000 Avios + £150 in taxes and charges:
….. and in Business – 44,000 Avios + £231 in taxes and charges:
Gatwick is around £25 cheaper and Manchester is around £15 cheaper.
Our beginner’s guide to redeeming Avios points here includes the Avios ‘price list’ for partner airlines if you want to know they got to the 22,000 / 44,000 Avios price points.
This is a bit nuts. For comparison, if you fly to Marrakech on British Airways off-peak, you will pay 34,600 Avios + £50 in taxes and charges:
….. and you could use a British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher too if you had one.
Of course, if you specifically want to go to Casablanca over Marrakech then this isn’t really a fair comparison! You need to pay the Royal Air Maroc price or mess about with a connecting flight.
There is some good news …..
There appears to be SIX economy seats and two business class seats available on each Royal Air Maroc flight. This gives you a good chance of getting a seat.
More importantly, 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. You ARE getting something extra for the additional cost versus flying on British Airways to Marrakech, via the FAR bigger seat.
Note that Royal Air Maroc uses Heathrow Terminal 4.
On paper, Royal Air Maroc is a good addition to oneworld and adds some valuable new destinations to the network. However, with such high taxes attached to both economy and business class redemptions, it is hard to see Casablanca becoming too popular with Avios collectors.
You can find out more about Royal Air Maroc on its website here.
PS. If you are visiting and want to do it in style, the Four Seasons Casablanca is the only world class hotel in the city. This can be booked, with various additional benefits thrown in for free, via our hotel booking partner Bon Vivant – see here for details.
PPS. Casablanca airport has a bad reputation for queues and security, so you may want to take a look at their surprisingly reasonable VIP service.
(Want to earn more Avios? Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)