Oneworld, Air Maroc deepen alliance to serve Nigerian market
Moroccan national carrier, Royal Air Maroc (RAM), and Oneworld alliance have deepened their partnership to serve Nigerian air travellers across a larger network.
The alliance, recently commemorated in Lagos, is targeted at emerging passenger traffic in Nigeria, being the biggest African economy and country.
Royal Air Maroc (RAM) is the first African airline to join the Oneworld alliance that has the likes of American Airlines, British Airways, Qatar and 10 others. Its Oneworld coalition rivals other alliances that have Ethiopian Airline, EgyptAir and Kenya Airways, in the feisty competitive world of commercial aviation.
Director of Finance, Royal Air Maroc, Karim Benchekroun, said entering the Oneworld alliance, now in its second anniversary, was aimed to serve the customers better with enhanced options across 1000 destinations.
Benchekroun noted that the Nigerian market is very important for both the airlines and the Oneworld alliance generally.
“As an airline, we have not been as strong in Nigeria as we want to be, but we have plans to deepen our presence in this important market. Besides the recovery from the pandemic, there are also emerging business projects between Nigeria and Morocco that will warrant more business travels. We are also trying to have more tourists come from Nigeria to Morocco for holidays and others on transit to America and Europe. So, we have been resilient and working on structures to maximise these gains,” he said.
Benchekroun added that the positives of the post-pandemic market were encouraging, with traffic recovery now 70 per cent of the pre-COVID-19 era and already 100 per cent in the European market.
“We remain focused on giving priority to Africa and Africans. We are talking of more than 1000 destinations in 180 territories, 650 lounges globally, with benefits and miles redeemable on other 13 member airlines and a quality travel experience for our customers, all from Africa. By joining Oneworld, Royal Air Maroc has brought Africa to the world and the world to Africa,” he said.
Chief Executive Officer of Oneworld, Robert Gurney, said the Air Maroc through its Casablanca hub would be of great significance in the emerging market.
Gurney said that with the opportunities, it was essential for the airline to partner with a larger network.
“Nigeria is the biggest country and the biggest economy with opportunities for us in Africa. Air travellers will be the biggest beneficiaries of this partnership,” he said.
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.