The Moroccan Flag Carrier – Royal Air Maroc – is now set to join one of the world’s leading airline alliances, Oneworld. The airline will become Oneworld’s first African airline, adding 34 new destinations and 21 new countries to the alliance’s network. RAM is the first recruit to Oneworld for six years and is currently the largest unaligned carrier across the African continent.
Royal Air Maroc will officially join the alliance in mid-2020, at which point the airline’s regional subsidiary will become an affiliate member.
Royal Air Maroc already has established partnerships with Qatar Airways and Iberia – both prominent members of the Oneworld alliance. Additionally, the airline has a sizable fleet of 55 aircraft, connecting its Casablanca base with 94 destinations, including the Oneworld hubs of Doha, London Heathrow, Madrid, Moscow Domodedovo, New York JFK and Sao Paulo. RAM’s five-year plan will see it expand even further, aspiring to carry 13 million passengers each year to 121 airports worldwide.
The announcement that Royal Air Maroc is joining the alliance also avoids controversy as current member airlines can exercise veto rights over the acession of a new carrier, which is a possibility in the hypothetical case of China Southern and Cathay Pacific – but not an issue here.
Royal Air Maroc offers a competitive onboard product, with the backbone of its long-haul fleet comprised of Boeing 787 Dreamliners. The airline also has a 2-2 ‘true’ Business Class onboard its Boeing 737 aircraft, meaning it is a good option when connecting into Europe too.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce confirmed at a New York conference, on behalf of Oneworld, that Royal Air Maroc would be joining the alliance, saying :
“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.”
Ultimately, this is a positive development for Oneworld as it provides member airlines and frequent flyers with better and more convinient access to Africa, with a competitive onboard product. For Royal Air Maroc, Oneworld should be able to act as a catalyst for the airline to realise their ambitious growth plans.