ABIDJAN – Royal Air Maroc today celebrated its second anniversary with oneworld at a press conference in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
AviationSource was present at the conference, where subjects as broad as intra-country cultural links and fleet strategy were discussed.
Royal Air Maroc and OneWorld: a brief history
Royal Air Maroc’s intention to join the alliance was formally announced in December 2018.
They officially joined the alliance in April 2020.
Some saw Royal Air Maroc’s membership of oneworld as a logical progression. Prior to joining, the airline already had ties with Iberia and Qatar Airways.
Additionally, for oneworld, it opens their route network up to far more of Africa than was previously possible.
Alongside being the first African carrier to join oneworld, they were also the first global carrier to join OneWorld in six years.
They have since been followed by Alaska Airlines in 2021.
Two Year Celebrations
Royal Air Maroc’s decision to hold their two-year celebration in Abidjan at first may seem a strange one.
However, Abidjan has formed an important city in their route network throughout the Airline’s history.
Today’s event was focused on reaching out to their French customers about the global connections flying Royal Air Maroc.
A similar celebration is being carried out in Lagos, Nigeria in a few days’ time. This one is catered towards their English-speaking customers.
The oneworld Advantage
For Royal Air Maroc, joining oneworld as seen as their most important strategic decision for 10 years.
Their route network has expanded from 96 destinations to over 1000.
Alongside the route network increase, Royal Air Maroc’s customers are now enjoying a strong frequent flyer program.
Abdelhamid Addou, Royal Air Maroc CEO, said their Loyalty program and increased connections have both gone down well with passengers.
Rob Gurney, oneworld CEO, said that adding Casablanca as a city to OneWorld’s network was a significant pull for Royal Air Maroc’s membership.
Whilst Casablanca is a major business hub, Morocco as a whole is the most popular tourist destination in Africa.
Additionally, Gurney says an alliance is a catalyst to global tourism. Via OneWorld, you can buy a round-the-world ticket, using only their member airlines.
This means you’ll know you’ll have an excellent experience wherever you’re flying.
The Present Day
Royal Air Maroc very recently launched flights to Tel Aviv.
Not only did this have the support of oneworld, but also ties between the countries.
There are both religious and cultural links between Israel and Morocco.
Royal Air Maroc intends to continue to build up its route network to the pre-pandemic level.
This includes destinations in Europe, America, and the Middle East.
Addou did say that going forward Royal Air Maroc remains dynamic to what routes they’ll serve.
For the Summer 2022 season, the airline expects to maximize its capacity using its 50 aircraft, and another five chartered aircraft.
When asked if they’d be getting any more 737 MAX aircraft, Addou said they currently have two and canceled the order for the remaining two they had on order.
This means the Boeing 737-800 will be the mainstay of their short-haul network for the foreseeable future.
He did also say they are a Boeing airline, which may give clues to their future route plans.
Longer-term, Royal Air Maroc hopes to increase its global market share.
In particular, they want to further expand their African route network. Their strategy is connecting Africa to the world via their main hub in Casablanca.
Understandably, sustainability was a subject raised during the Q&A.
oneworld has committed to having net zero emissions by 2050. Additionally, the airline has a target for 10% of the alliance to use sustainable aviation fuel by 2030.
Gurney revealed that their Sustainability board now meets more than their Management board.
Airlines are making lower than ideal sustainability investments due to the pandemic.
oneworld has seen the solution of making these investments on behalf of the alliance airlines instead.
This allows the airlines to recover from COVID-19, knowing that sustainability investments are still being made.
oneworld has been assisting all their member airlines in recovering from the Pandemic in the form of a group strategy.
They had a strategic group already set up for their Airlines.
Whilst they never thought they had to deal with a global pandemic, the team was ready to react.
Royal Air Maroc’s membership in oneworld has been smooth and successful.
However, Summer 2022 is seen by the airline as an opportunity to stress-test their new processes.
Whilst the process of joining and getting set up has been hard work, so far, it has been plain sailing.