Royal Air Maroc and American Airlines have together applied for a codeshare from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The airlines hope the codeshare will consolidate Royal Air Maroc’s entry into the oneworld Alliance. As well as this, it will allow American Airlines to expand its network.
The codeshare details
On Friday 8th November 2019, the two airlines submitted their application to the U.S. Department of Transportation to codeshare on their respective networks. The news comes as Royal Air Maroc gets set to join the oneworld alliance in 2020.
Royal Air Maroc and American Airlines already have an interline agreement in place. But the codeshare would allow the two to develop their relationship and offer more flexibility and opportunity for their customers.
According to The Points Guy, the codeshare will be available on American Airlines’ new route from Philidelphia to Casablanca, Morocco. However, the exact details of the codeshare will not be released until the deal has been approved.
Sights on Africa
American Airlines is hoping that the agreement with Royal Air Maroc will help along with developing its African route network. The United States-based carrier recently scheduled a seasonal service from Philidelphia to Casablanca which will kick off next year.
By basing itself in a strong African hub, the airline hopes that it will pave the way for route expansion through Africa. As a result of flying into Casablanca, the airline will be able to take advantage of the Royal Air Maroc routes which operate out of the region.
In a Tell Me Why podcast by American Airlines, the Senior Vice President for Network Strategy at American Airlines said that Morocco was the “gateway to Africa”. Vasu Raja explained:
“…Casablanca, which is the hub for Royal Air Maroc, is really geographically well-positioned.”
He went on to comment that he expected Royal Air Maroc to use Casablanca as a “connecting hub” to join Africa with the United States. If that happens, American Airlines would then be able to cooperate with the airline to develop its African network.
Indeed, when Royal Air Maroc joins the oneworld Alliance, it will add 34 destinations to the network which include Abidjan in the Ivory Coast, Bamako in Mali and Cotonou in Benin. That gives American Airlines lots of opportunities in the African market and there is speculation that American Airlines will also codeshare on these routes as well.
An extensive network in the future
So what’s the benefit of a codeshare for Royal Air Maroc? Well, no doubt the airline will also be able to reap the benefits of flying its passengers from Africa to the U.S. Joining the oneworld Alliance will allow the air carrier to intensively expand its network. It’s already managed to secure Beijing, but it will be able to continue adding to its 80 destinations.
But American Airlines is also planning a massive route expansion in other continents as well. Last month, the airline told Simple Flying that it wants to develop its network in mainland China and Eastern Asia. This is in addition to making the most out of its connections in London.
What do you think about a codeshare between American Airlines and Royal Air Maroc? How do you feel about a potential African network expansion for American? Let us know in the comments!