It seems that the cat is finally out of the bag, with the announcement that Royal Air Maroc is to join the oneworld alliance.
This will be oneworld’s first airline based in African continent that will be a full member of the alliance (South African airline Comair is a oneworld affiliate for the franchised British Airways services).
The airline is due to formally join the alliance in mid-2020, with the regional affiliate Royal Air Maroc Express joining at the same time.
It goes without saying that Royal Air Maroc’s Safar Flyer loyalty programme able to earn and redeem rewards on all oneworld member airlines, and with its top-tier members able to use the alliance’s more than 650 airport lounges worldwide at that point.
For now, it’s business as usual as the airlines and alliances.
In terms of numbers, the airline carried 7,3 million passengers on 55 aircraft, connecting 94 destinations and 49 countries.
For oneworld it adds important coverage in Africa (an area where the alliance hasn’t done well), with 34 new destinations and 21 counties.
Members of the oneworld family – and ones soon to be, featuring oneworld CEO Rob Gurney, Royal Air Maroc CEO Abdelhamid Addou holding the oneworld logo, and Alan Joyce of Qantas – oneworld governing Board Chairman.
oneworld Governing Board Chairman Alan Joyce, Group CEO of Qantas, said:
“We’re pleased to welcome Royal Air Maroc to oneworld. Africa is the last major region where oneworld does not have a full member airline – and has one of the fastest predicted air travel growth rates over the next few decades. Royal Air Maroc will deliver greater value for more customers worldwide as we expand our alliance network to a new region.”
oneworld CEO Rob Gurney noted:
“When we unveiled our new membership platform oneworld connect in June, we said that in the future oneworld would target as full members large airlines that have a significant presence in the alliance’s prime target market, providing connections between the world’s leading business centres. Royal Air Maroc is growing into a truly global airline, with its home base Casablanca to be developed into Africa’s leading aviation gateway while also consolidating its place as Africa’s number one financial centre.”
Royal Air Maroc CEO Abdelhamid Addou said:
“Royal Air Maroc is excited and honored to have been invited to become oneworld’s wings of Africa. We look forward to completing our flight on board speedily and smoothly so that we can offer the services and benefits of the world’s best airline alliance to our customers and across our own network as soon as possible. We will be flying alongside the finest collection of air carriers in the skies, while at the same time making it easier for people all over the world to reach our historic and beautiful part of the world. This undoubtedly represents one of the most significant landmarks in our airline’s 60-year history and on our journey to establish Royal Air Maroc as the leading airline of Africa
Blessing the rains of Africa with Royal Air Maroc
oneworld’s coverage of the Africa region has been… patchy to say the least, with Lufthansa Group/Brussels Airlines/Ethiopian Airlines and SkyTeam/Kenya Airlines taking full advantage until now – and carriers only flying to Africa from their hub. With Royal Air Maroc, there’s a chance that new markets can open up as well as new connectivity.
However, we’re still looking at 18 months plus before the airline is due to join the alliance formally.
Plenty of time for the others to entrench their positions.
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