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Washington DC becomes Royal Air Maroc’s second US destination on September 8, commencing thrice weekly Dreamliner service to Casablanca.
The existing New York JFK route generally has reasonable prices to Casablanca and is a competitive option to West Africa.
The airline has been subject of rumors such as that it will join Star Alliance or that its frequent flyer program will join Avios.
Currently, you have three award options for Royal Air Maroc flights:
- Etihad Guest: one-way not permitted, must book 14 days in advance, and Etihad has a terrible reputation for partner award booking, see full details here
- Iberia Avios: see award chart here, effective April 1, this shows both economy and full-fare economy prices, on my recent trip one domestic segment was only sold in Y fare code which I presume would have been a full-fare economy award
- Qatar Airways Privilege Club: see partner details here and partner airline award chart here
All require calling the respective program to book.
As might be expected, Iberia looks to have the best award chart prices and is probably the easiest program to attempt a booking. I have not tried it, my only caution comes from trying to book Binter Canaries flights with Iberia Avios where I never succeeded finding any availability despite many calls.
If you are paying cash for Royal Air Maroc tickets, book on the local site. See my Here’s How to Save Big on Royal Air Maroc Tickets for details.
What is it like to fly Royal Air Maroc?
In March I had two domestic and one short international flight on them. Typical middle of the road airline. Blasting music pre-departure on a pre-dawn flight was an introduction to Moroccan music in all its vitality.
The domestic terminal at Casablanca is barebones. International is pretty good and has a transit hotel downstairs with reasonable prices. Nearby hotels are not nearby, and the hourly train to the city takes 45 minutes, so the transit hotel is a convenient option.
How is Royal Air Maroc as a West Africa hub?
Royal Air Maroc has service to most of West Africa and is only now being challenged by Togo-based ASKY (Ethiopian is the parent company) which has a rudimentary, shaky hub in Lome. Everything else in the region is a patchwork of local airlines and global airline 5th freedom routes (example: South African Airways’ flight from Abidjan to Accra).
The Casablanca hub and its flight times are designed to make Africa to Europe connections, so travel within Africa often requires all-day or overnight connections. Because of this, they are more attractive getting to or from Africa rather than travel within Africa.
Because I love DC:
Ethiopian’s flight to Addis Ababa has fantastic award availability in both business and economy. Super, amazing availability. Trip times to West Africa may be longer than Royal Air Maroc because of the extra distance back and forth. Addis Ababa to Lagos is over 5 hours. For the rest of Africa trip times even out.