Morocco’s national carrier Royal Air Maroc (RAM) will join the oneworld global airline alliance which includes industry heavyweights American Airlines and British Airways.
RAM’s membership is expected to take effect in mid-2020, announced oneworld Wednesday, December 5, in a statement.
“Its regional subsidiary Royal Air Maroc Express will join as a oneworld affiliate member at the same time.”
Commenting on the new membership, Royal Air Maroc CEO Abdelhamid Addou said, “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.”
Although South Africa’s Comair, “which flies as a franchisee of British Airways,” is a oneworld affiliate member, Royal Air Maroc will be oneworld’s first full member from the continent, reads oneworld’s statement.
“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,” said oneworld Governing Board Chairman Alan Joyce and Qantas CEO.
Oneworld CEO Rob Gurney said, “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.”
Morocco received a total of 10.5 million tourists between January and October this year, an 8 percent increase from the same period last year, according to the Moroccan Ministry of Tourism.
On a fleet of 55 airplanes, RAM carried 7.3 million passengers in 2017 with an average of 245 daily departures. The state-owned airline generated $1.7 billion in revenue last year.
RAM, which employs 5,413 people, has 94 destinations in 49 countries across the world.
By joining oneworld, Royal Air Maroc will add 34 new destinations and 21 countries to the alliance map, expanding its network to reach 1,069 airports in 178 countries.
As Royal Air Maroc has a five-year plan to expand its fleet to carry 13 million passengers per year in 121 destinations in 68 countries, oneworld alliance will gain 15 additional destinations and 9 countries.
Launched in February 1999, oneworld is an alliance of some of the world’s leading airlines such as American Airlines, British Airways, Malaysia Airlines, and Qatar Airways.
The alliance carries “550 million passengers a year on a combined fleet of 3,500 aircraft.” Oneworld generates $135 billion in revenue annually.
By Tarek Bazza