Yesterday we published an article revealing that Oneworld will be announcing a new member airline (The first in 6 years) at a press conference next month.
Some fantastic ideas were thrown around, from Aer Lingus (My pick), Alaska, China Southern, Air Italy, Philippine Airlines, Bangkok Airways, LEVEL, WestJet and many more.
But according to the research by Lucky at One mile at a time, a certain CEO of a certain airline is attending the conference. This CEO is not a member of Oneworld, and could only be from the airline that is joining it.
He is Abdelhamid Addou, the CEO of Royal Air Maroc.
Who is Royal Air Maroc?
Royal Air Maroc is the Morrocan state airline and flag carrier. They fly a fleet of 55 jets out of their hub of Casablanca, Morroco.
As you can see from the map above, they have quite an extensive range and portfolio of routes. They cover all of West Africa, Western Europe, as well as some cheeky routes to North and South America.
For their long-haul routes, they have a very modern fleet of five Dreamliners, with an order for four more 787-9s on the way. They use the older Boeing 737-800 series for their shorter routes but it’s understood they intend to update the fleet soon.
Their business class on their Dreamliners features lie-flat seating, and we have heard that their soft product is quite good!
While the “Soft Product” was enjoyable, with good food and friendly service, hard product is a bit bizarre. Foot rests are set so that the window seat in business class is significantly higher when in full recline than the aisle seat. Its a strange attempt at privacy I guess. All in all, a great bang for the buck if you are looking for cheaper alternatives to the U.S. from Europe. – GN J at Seat Guru
Plus, the 737-800 planes that fly between North Africa and Europe feature 12 seats of business class on board. These seats are only recliners, but it is a mighty fine way to travel intra-Europe when the competition is serving normal economy seats as business.
Why is Royal Air Maroc a good fit for Oneworld?
There are a variety of reasons why this airline is a great fit for Oneworld.
- Oneworld has been desperate for an African partner for some time. If they secure this partnership, it will greatly open new routes and destinations for passengers in Africa and those heading there.
- Royal Air Maroc is already allied with Qatar and Iberia, thus it is a natural fit for the airline.
- There would be no airlines in Oneworld that would veto their entry. Their routes simply do not overlap with anyone else, and Casablanca was never a route to focus on for others.
- Morroco is a very popular tourist destination, being one of the more secure countries in Africa.
- Royal Air Maroc has some great routes and plenty of award availability. Some of their destinations are a little out of the way so its very likely that award seats will always be available.
Nothing is confirmed until we see that man on stage, but at this point, it might as well be decided.
What do you think? Is it a good fit for Oneworld? Who else would you like to see join?