Oneworld Expands: Royal Air Maroc Joins the Alliance!
In more recent years, there have been just few notable additions to the current airline alliances; newest full members TAM Airlines joined oneworld, Garuda, SkyTeam, and Air India, Star Alliance, all back in 2014.
On December 5th, oneworld officials held a press conference in New York to announce the ascension of its newest member: Royal Air Maroc.
About Royal Air Maroc
What is Royal Air Maroc… or perhaps more importantly, where are they based?
Royal Air Maroc (also known as RAM) is the flag carrier of Morocco, a kingdom on the northwestern corner of the African continent. Operating from the Moroccan capital of Casablanca, RAM is fully owned by the government and is the nation’s largest airline.
To date it has been an unaffiliated airline, but has established codeshare agreements with various partners in the region. Perhaps the most notable ones of these partners include Alitalia (of Italy), Iberia (of Spain) and Etihad Airways (of the United Arab Emirates).
Due to its geographical and historical situation, Royal Air Maroc has a sizable network spanning mainly both Europe and Africa.
RAM flies to numerous major cities on the African continent, mostly on the Atlantic seaboard. It also serves different main destinations in Europe, eleven of which are in France alone! Thanks to Morocco’s strategic position, RAM therefore stands as a great gateway from the Americas to both Europe and Africa.
Frequent Flyer Program
Royal Air Maroc’s loyalty program is Safar Flyer. The program is tiered into Blue, Silver and Gold depending on eligible miles accrued.
At the moment, 20,000 miles or 15 status flights in a calendar year gets you Silver. Crediting 35,000 miles or 30 flights gets you to Gold. As with airline miles programs, you can use miles earned towards flights, upgrades or other rewards.
Safar Flyer members get to earn and redeem miles on RAM and partner flights. You can then use those miles on Iberia, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways, and a handful of non-airline partners.
What This Means for Asia-based Travelers
Royal Air Maroc’s accession into the oneworld alliance by mid-2020 is mostly a boon for residents of the Atlantic continents. That said, admittedly there is no immediately tangible benefit for us Asia-based travelers.
However, this news means additional earning and redemption options when using any of Cathay Pacific, Japan or SriLankan or Malaysia Airlines’ loyalty programs. And this may come in handy when flying around Europe or Africa.
It’s just a bit sad that oneworld is stuck around the fringes of Europe; British Airways is based in the UK, Iberia in Spain, Finnair north in Finland… and now, RAM just a bit south in Morocco. Nonetheless, it’s another memorable occasion in the history of the alliance.