What Royal Air Maroc Joining Oneworld Means For You

Flyers who earn miles with a Oneworld member like American Airlines will have new redemptions on Royal Air Maroc.

Paul RubioMay 29, 2020

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Royal Air Maroc, the national carrier of Morocco, became the newest member of the Oneworld alliance on April 1, 2020. The timing was unfortunate: On March 21, 2020, Royal Air Maroc suspended all international and domestic flights in response to the coronavirus pandemic. But this partnership is still good news for travelers, who can enjoy plenty of benefits once international travel resumes.

Expect opportunities to earn and redeem miles to lots more destinations when overseas travel becomes safe again. Royal Air Maroc is Oneworld’s first full member on the African continent (and first full member since 2014), bringing dozens of new destinations to the Oneworld circuit. Add that to the 12 other Oneworld member airlines and connected partners — from American Airlines to Qantas to Fiji Airways — and you have a network that serves over 1,100 destinations in more than 180 territories around the world.

New destinations and connections

With its hub at Casablanca Mohammed V International Airport, Royal Air Maroc services 105 destinations in 51 countries, including direct flights to Casablanca from five North American cities: Boston, Miami, Montreal, New York-JFK and Dulles in Washington, D.C. It brings 39 new destinations in 23 countries to the Oneworld alliance, opening up access to many cities within Morocco plus capitals in West and Central Africa.

In addition, Royal Air Maroc regularly flies to hubs of other Oneworld members, including:

  • Amman (base for Royal Jordanian).

  • Doha (base for Qatar Airways).

  • London Heathrow (base for British Airways).

  • Madrid (base for Iberia).

  • Miami (base for American Airlines).

  • Moscow Domodedovo (base for S7).

  • New York-JFK (base for American Airlines).

As part of the same alliance, Oneworld airlines can connect flights to create one ticket using multiple airlines to reach your destination.

Before the pandemic struck, Royal Air Maroc had announced a five-year plan to expand its fleet to add 15 new destinations and nine new countries, which would make Oneworld’s global presence even bigger.

Use AAdvantage miles to get to Morocco and beyond

Royal Air Maroc’s membership in Oneworld opens up a wealth of new mileage redemption opportunities from the U.S. to North Africa and beyond, namely through partners American Airlines and British Airways. On its five routes between the U.S. and Casablanca, Royal Air Maroc operates Boeing 767s and 787-9s with fully flat business class seats.

Better yet, American Airlines’ AAdvantage program has recategorized Morocco from its Africa region to its Europe region for purposes of mileage redemptions.

This means you should be able to get there with considerably fewer miles. For comparison: One-way mileage redemptions to Africa on partner airlines from the contiguous U.S. and Canada cost 40,000 AAdvantage miles in economy and 75,000 miles in business class. But to Europe, one-way mileage redemptions on partner airlines from the contiguous U.S. and Canada cost just 30,000 AAdvantage miles in economy and 57,500 miles in business class.

American’s shift of Morocco to its Europe region is also good news for travelers heading to Europe from Morocco. Partner mileage redemptions within the Europe region run 12,500 and 22,500 AAdvantage miles in economy and business, respectively, versus the 30,000 AAdvantage miles it takes in economy (or 55,000 in business) to go from the Africa region to Europe.

AAdvantage has yet to make Royal Air Maroc’s inventory available online through the AAdvantage search engine, so you’ll have to call American Airlines to redeem these awards. Try to search, say, Miami to Casablanca on Nov. 18, 2020, and a message will appear stating "Something went wrong. We didn't find a match. Please choose different search options" even though seats are available.

Use your British Airways Avios

You can also redeem British Airways Avios points for Royal Air Maroc flights. British Airways’ distance-based Avios program offers excellent opportunities for shorter distance redemptions and direct flights. Plus, the program is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Unlike AAdvantage, British Airways has already uploaded Royal Air Maroc inventory into its online search engine, making it easy to price out Royal Air Maroc award tickets. For a Miami-to-Casablanca flight on Nov. 18, 2020, an award search quickly revealed four seats in economy and two seats in business on Royal Air Maroc AT0205.

This flight cost 25,750 Avios plus $130.10 in taxes for a one-way economy class ticket, or 77,250 plus $180.10 in taxes for a one-way business class ticket.

Based on our searches, it appears Royal Air Maroc has released a number of award seats on flights throughout late 2020, including several pairs of business class seats between its hub in Casablanca and its five North American destinations.

Earning miles and scoring other Oneworld perks when flying Royal Air Maroc

Travelers can also earn miles on qualifying Royal Air Maroc flights. Just be sure to supply your frequent flyer number for the Oneworld member airline you want to earn miles with. Each member airline’s mileage program differs when it comes to how many miles you can earn flying Royal Air Maroc. For example, those choosing to earn miles with American Airlines AAdvantage may get a certain percentage of base miles, cabin bonuses and the like depending on the fare booked.

Travelers who have Oneworld status — whether Ruby, Sapphire or Emerald — have a variety of benefits when flying Royal Air Maroc. These benefits may include priority check-in, excess baggage and preferred boarding.

The bottom line

Royal Air Maroc’s new membership in the Oneworld alliance happened quietly during the current pandemic. In the long term, it offers a number of opportunities for Oneworld loyalists and travelers seeking to reach new destinations, earn mileage for flights and redeem miles on Royal Air Maroc.

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