Royal Air Maroc to Join oneworld®

Wednesday, December 05, 2018, 3:00 PM

Leading global alliance signs Africa’s leading unaligned airline — oneworld’s first full member from the continent and first recruit globally for six years

NEW YORK — Royal Air Maroc, one of Africa’s leading and fastest-growing airlines, will join oneworld®, the world’s premier airline alliance.

Its election as a oneworld member-designate was announced when the chief executives of the alliance’s 13 current member airlines, including American, gathered in New York for their year-end Governing Board meeting. The announcement came just weeks before the alliance celebrates the 20th anniversary of its launch.

Royal Air Maroc is expected to become part of oneworld in mid-2020 when it will start flying alongside some of the biggest and best brands in the airline business. Its regional subsidiary, Royal Air Maroc Express, will join as a oneworld affiliate member at the same time.

Royal Air Maroc

Royal Air Maroc

As part of the alliance, Royal Air Maroc will offer the full range of oneworld customer services and benefits; more than 1 million members of the airline’s Safar Flyer loyalty program will be 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.

While Southern Africa’s Comair, which flies as a franchisee of British Airways, has been a oneworld affiliate member since the alliance launched in February 1999, Royal Air Maroc will be oneworld’s first full member from Africa — the only continent, apart from Antarctica, where the alliance hasn’t had a full member.

It will also be the alliance’s first new full-member airline signed since 2012, although Fiji Airways links to the alliance starting today as the first partner of oneworld connect, the first new membership platform since the alliance was established.

Today, Royal Air Maroc is the largest unaligned carrier in Africa, with a transformational strategy well underway to develop it quickly into a global airline and the continent’s leader in terms of both size and quality.

Royal Air Maroc carried 7.3 million passengers last year on a fleet of 55 aircraft. The airline’s network currently connects its Mohammed V International Airport (CMN) base in Casablanca, Morocco, with 94 destinations in 49 countries across Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and North and South America, including oneworld hubs Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar (DOH); Heathrow Airport in London (LHR); Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suarez Airport in Spain (MAD); Moscow Domodedovo Airport (DME); John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York (JFK) and Sao Paulo International Airport in Brazil (GRU).

The airline’s schedule will add 34 new destinations and 21 countries to the oneworld map, taking the alliance’s network to 1,069 airports in 178 countries and territories.

Under Royal Air Maroc’s ambitious five-year strategy, it plans to expand its fleet significantly, carrying 13 million customers a year across a global network serving 121 destinations in 68 countries. This will add another 15 destinations and nine countries to the alliance network, giving the alliance a total of 1,084 destinations in 187 countries and territories.

Three established oneworld member airlines — British Airways, Iberia and Qatar Airways — currently serve three destinations in Morocco between them: CMN, Marrakesh Menara Airport (RAK) and Tangier Ibn Battouta Airport (TNG).

Alan Joyce, oneworld Governing Board Chairman and 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 it 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.”

Rob Gurney, oneworld CEO, 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 centers. 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 top financial center.”

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.”

Logos, photographs and video

Logos and photographs for oneworld and Royal Air Maroc can be downloaded in high-resolution, print-quality format from oneworld-RAM.com

About Royal Air Maroc

Royal Air Maroc is the flag carrier of Morocco. Last year, it carried 7.3 million passengers on an average of 245 daily departures. Its current fleet of 55 aircraft is centered on Boeing 737s and Embraer 190s on short- to medium-haul routes, with Boeing 767s and Boeing 787-8s flying long-haul services. It receives its first Boeing 787-9s this month (December 2018). Its regional affiliate, Royal Air Maroc Express, operates five ATR 72s.

Under its five-year growth plan, its fleet will increase significantly as it extends the reach of its network from the current 94 destinations to 121. It will also raise frequencies in many established markets, making virtually all short- and medium-haul markets at least daily, and in many cases, multiple frequencies a day, turning its Casablanca base — where in the coming few weeks, it will move into a completely rebuilt, state-of-the-art Terminal 1 — into a full-fledged transfer hub.

Royal Air Maroc offers a two-class business and economy product on most international routes, including seats that convert to angle lie-flat beds in its premium cabin. It is undergoing significant investments in product and marketing, with a new brand image and marketing content, cabin refits, redesign, and new uniforms all planned in the coming months. In the past five years, its improved service and quality levels have been recognized with Skytrax raising its quality rating to four stars.

In 2017, the airline and its subsidiaries generated revenues of $1.7 billion, achieving operating profits of $48.5 million. It employs 5,413 people. Royal Air Maroc, which celebrated the 60th anniversary of its foundation this year, is 98 percent owned by the state of Morocco.

Royal Air Maroc already codeshares with Qatar Airways and with oneworld members Iberia and S7 Airlines. It is expected to develop further links with other oneworld member airlines as it prepares to join the group.

About oneworld

oneworld is an alliance of some of the world’s leading airlines committed to providing the highest level of service and convenience to frequent international travelers. oneworld members include American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LATAM Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines and SriLankan Airlines and around 30 affiliates. Fiji Airways joins as the first oneworld connect partner today (Dec. 5, 2018). As part of oneworld, these airlines:

  • Serve more than 1,000 airports in 160-plus territories with some 14,000 daily departures
  • Carry almost 550 million passengers a year on a combined fleet of 3,500 aircraft
  • Generate some $135 billion annual revenues

oneworld member airlines work together to consistently deliver a superior, seamless travel experience with special privileges and rewards for frequent flyers, including earning and redeeming miles and points across the entire alliance network. Top-tier cardholders (Emerald and Sapphire) enjoy access to more than 650 airport lounges and are offered extra baggage allowances. The most regular travelers (Emerald) can also use fast-track security lanes at select airports.

oneworld is the “most highly prized alliance” as current holder of:

  • FlightStats’ Airline Alliance 2017 On-Time Performance Service Award, the fifth win in a row
  • Business Traveler’s 2018 Best Airline Alliance, the sixth win in a row
  • Global Traveler magazine’s 2018 GT Tested Reader Survey, the ninth win in a row
  • Trazees’ Favorite Airline Alliance, for the second time
  • Business Traveler North America’s 2018 Best in Business Travel Awards, the fourth win in a row
  • World Travel Awards’ World’s Leading Airline Alliance 2017, for the 15th year running