Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

You can now book Royal Air Maroc flights to Casablanca on Avios points

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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).

how to redeem Avios points on Royal Air Maroc flights

Where does Royal Air Maroc fly?

We discussed the Royal Air Maroc route network, all of which is now bookable with Avios, in our April article.

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:

how to redeem Avios points on Royal Air Maroc flights

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:

how to redeem Avios points on Royal Air Maroc flights

….. and in Business – 44,000 Avios + £231 in taxes and charges:

how to redeem Avios points on Royal Air Maroc flights

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:

how to redeem Avios points on Royal Air Maroc flights

….. 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.

how to redeem Avios points on Royal Air Maroc flights

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.

how to redeem Avios points on Royal Air Maroc flights

Conclusion

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.)

Comments (16)

  • apbj says:

    What’s driving the difference in taxes? YQ? The APD should be the same. IB taxes CMN-MAD are very low. Something’s not right here.

    • Lumma says:

      The BA flights are reward flight saver prices, so the actual taxes don’t matter.

      Isn’t the bigger issue that Casablanca is not considered to be a great place to visit in Morocco? As well as Marrakech (BA are usually very cheap on this route, 160 tier points return in business too), Ryanair fly to Fez, easyJet fly to Essaouira, far nicer cities than Casablanca. If anyone hasn’t been before, I’d recommend a two centre holiday to Marrakech and Essaouira.

  • BrightonReader says:

    Can you compare like with like?

    RAM = 22k Avios + £150 quid

    BA closest comparison. = 20k Avios + £168 (not your 34k Avios + £50) so not that much difference.

    (Yes one is Casablanca the other Marrakech but shouldn’t be much difference between the two)

    And what is the actual breakdown of the cash component? Stop conflating surcharges with taxes.

    APD is the same for both. As are airport fees where LGW is cheaper then LHR for example,

    • Tony says:

      But you’re comparing RAM economy price with BA business price. It’s 34k + £50 to fly BA business – you can reduce the miles by paying £168 + 20k.
      BA economy would be 18k + £35 against RAM 22k + £150

    • Alex W says:

      You’ve been fooled by BA’s variable pricing. The best value will be the one which is closest to the old Reward Flight Saver pricing, i.e. £50 in business and £35 in economy.

    • Fire Fox says:

      ITA Matrix gives a break-down of the costs – interestingly (for a return flight) it’s listing YQ + Taxes + Other charges as ~£170 in economy, and ~£252 in business – i.e. about £20 higher than the avios screenshots. So I’m guessing I’ve made a mistake somewhere….

      ITA Matrix link:
      https://matrix.itasoftware.com/#search:research=LHRCMN-CMNLHR

  • Justin says:

    I’m surprised that the GIBTNGCMN flights have not had a BA codeshare added, would have added a simpler and quicker way for flights form both London. The RAM flight from Gibraltar to Tangiers is just minutes rather than changing at Madrid for hours.

    • Gabz says:

      Isn’t the GIB-TNG-CMN only a few times a week, and at awkward times (IIRC late evening, when the LON services are much earlier).

  • Russell Gowers says:

    Reading those OMAAT reviews, I’d fly RAM just for the sheer amount of cheese you seem to get with the food! They had me at “cheese trolley”!

  • Fraser says:

    RAM food and drink no is included in economy and not at all bad.

    Direct flights are a real bonus, I travel EDI-CMD several times a year and have tried routing via Heathrow, Madrid, Frankfurt, Paris…all can take an entire day there and back with connections, and Air France are notorious for selling connection times which are almost impossible to make (eg better to plan for 4 hours at CDG than 50 mins and miss your flight, lose your bags etc).

    A train to Manchester airport then direct RAM is appealing. I had considered Ryanair from Glasgow to Marrakesh and then the train, but trains between the cities can be hugely unreliable…2 or 3 hours late is not unusual and no reliable estimates provided. So if Casa is your destination (for business), fly there. If on holiday, fly to Marrakesh.

    There is some stuff to do in Casa, very good restaurants along the corniche, but it’s a business city and you can easily spend 90 minutes each way between central hotel and the business district in traffic. 🙁

  • JAMES says:

    Well they’ve killed that then 🙁

    And soon to be made much worse with the inevitable Avoid devaluation 🙁

  • Jack A says:

    Since they fly from T4, in normal times, if travelling Business Class, would that then mean that you’d be eligible to visit the Qatar Lounge?

    • Rob says:

      Malaysia, yes. Not sure about Qatar which has strict rules (for eg if you fly Qatar in Economy you can’t use the lounge with BA or even Qatar status, you’re sent upstairs to Plaza Premium).

  • ADS says:

    I thought I’d look at a couple of connecting destinations to see if they’d be any use. Turns out the London flight times aren’t great for flying on to places like Tenerife or Las Palmas.

    Where I could find connections the Avios pricing is so crazy, it’s hard to see it ever being better than cash fares.

    London to Rio
    29th or 30th October – 8th November (off peak)

    BA 39,000 avios plus 407.93 gbp
    IB 64,500 avios plus 419.44 gbp
    RAM 73,500 avios plus 420.58 gbp

    London to Accra
    18th Sept to 1st Oct (off peak)

    BA 26,000 avios plus 408.50 gbp
    RAM 44,000 avios plus 465.56 gbp