Venkat Mangudi

MIAMI – Morocco’s flag carrier, Royal Air Maroc, will become oneworld’s first African member. During the end of year oneworld Governing Board meeting in New York, it was revealed that the alliance will now boast 14 worldwide members.

Royal Air Maroc is now the first airline to join the alliance since 2012, when Qatar Airways announced its intentions to become a full member.

The Moroccan airline, as well as its regional subsidiary, Royal Air Maroc Express, will be fully integrated to the oneworld alliance during the first half of 2020.

Photo: Eric Dunetz

Once the airline is in the alliance, it will open up a whole range of codeshare and expanded benefits to oneworld customers traveling between Africa and the rest of the globe..

Oneworld Governing Board Chairman, Alan Joyce, Group CEO of Qantas, said that he and his colleagues were “pleased to welcome Royal Air Maroc to oneworld.”

Joyce admitted that 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.”

Laurent ERRERA 

With the addition of Royal Air Maroc’s network, the total of destinations in the oneworld portfolio will grow to 1,084 in 187 different countries.

Royal Air Maroc CEO, Abdelhamid Addou, said that his team is “excited and honored to have been invited to become oneworld’s wings of Africa.”

“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,” he said.

Addou admitted that joining oneworld “undoubtedly represents one of the most significant landmarks in our airline’s 60-year history.”

“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,” he said.

Each customer who is a member of the Royal Air Maroc’s Safar Flyer Program will be able to earn and redeem rewards on other oneworld alliance member airlines. Top tier members will also be able to access 650 oneworld lounges worldwide.

Currently, the airline carries 7.3 million passengers each year, with a fleet of 55 aircraft, averaging 11.5 years.

At the airline’s hub in the Moroccan capital of Casablanca, it flies to 94 destinations within 49 countries around the world. Destinations include London-Heathrow, Madrid-Barajas, New York-JFK, Sao Paulo, and many more.

Royal Air Maroc plans to grow its paassengers numbers by almost twice the current amount, up to 13 million per year. The airline will also soon be adding its first Boeing 787-9s and 737 MAXs to its fleet.

In addition to Royal Air Maroc, Fiji Airways has become the first ‘oneworld connect’ partner, which is a new kind of membership to the alliance.