Aviation: After a two-year hiatus, Moroccan carrier Royal Air Maroc resumes Casablanca-Miami route

Moroccan

Moroccan national carrier Royal Air Maroc, has restarted their service between Miami and Casablanca after a two-year hiatus related to the pandemic.

The route which resumed on Sunday April 10th to Miami International Airport, is the only non-stop flight from Africa.

According to Simple Flying, Royal Air Maroc was initially operating on Fridays and Sundays, but it’ll rise to 3x weekly from May 18th with the addition of a Wednesday service.

The schedule in May is as follows, with all times local:

– AT204: Casablanca-Miami, 16:30-20:25
– AT205: Miami-Casablanca-Miami, 22:25-10:40+1 (the next day)

At 4,321 miles (6,955km), Miami is Royal Air Maroc’s longest route.

It beats Washington Dulles, the next longest, by 491 miles (790km). The first round-trip to Florida utilized CN-RGB, a 274-seat B787-8. It has 18 fully flat beds and 256 seats in economy. One of six B787-8s, CN-RGB was the first B787 to be received by Royal Air Maroc; it arrived in December 2014.

READ: Aviation: Moroccan Airline RAM plan to sue Algerian Minister for Accusation of Smuggling Drugs in Africa

The B787-8 is scheduled to operate all but one flight to Miami. The exception is on September 28th, when the larger B787-9 is down to be used.

Royal Air Maroc initially began Miami on April 3rd, 2019. Its last flight, pre-pandemic, was March 15th, 2020, barely 11 months after it began.

As the route was so new and suffered from the early impact of the pandemic, its seat load factor (SLF) was predictably low at 53.5%. In the peak summer of 2019, it achieved about 80%. It can, of course, can take a while for a long-haul route to achieve the projected performance, if indeed it does.

As always, SLF is just one measure of performance.

According to booking data, around 53% of passengers traveled between Miami and Casablanca only and didn’t connect anywhere. It primarily targeted Florida’s Moroccan community.

When a new non-stop service begins, demand should grow meaningfully. That’s the case whether it is by a full-service airline like Royal Air Maroc, but most particularly, of course, if it involves a low-cost carrier and lower fares.

Demand stimulation is typically vital in route development, and it will be much easier and bigger in leisure markets or those involving visiting friends and relatives, like Casablanca to Miami. The entry of Royal Air Maroc grew Miami point-to-point traffic by about 540% versus the year before.

Around 45% of passengers transited the Moroccan flag carrier’s Casablanca hub, mainly to/from Southern Europe and other parts of Africa. Booking data reveals that Miami to France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, and Tunisia were the five largest country markets, with Miami to Tunis, Lisbon, Cairo, Porto, and Madrid the five largest origins and destinations.

Royal Air Maroc joined oneworld two years ago. While few passengers transited fellow oneworld partner American Airlines’ Miami hub, this may change. In late 2019, the pair signed a codeshare agreement, which may become more comprehensive in the future.

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