RAM’s entry into oneworld finally gives the alliance a visible presence in Africa; is China next?
As the largest unaligned carrier in Africa, Royal Air Maroc (RAM) was always going to be a target for the global alliances, especially as its Mohammed V International Airport base in Casablanca has grown as a key gateway into North Africa and an increasing connection point into other parts of Africa.
While Star and SkyTeam both already have a presence in Africa through based flag carriers, oneworld was a natural fit, but the fractured nature of intra-Africa connectivity means RAM would not have been out of place sitting at the table among its peers in the other global groupings.
The value to oneworld is clear when you consider that RAM’s network today will add 34 new destinations and 21 countries to the alliance’s route map, taking the alliance’s network to 1,069 airports in 178 countries and territories.
The word ‘today’ is important as RAM has an ambitious five-year plan to almost double passenger numbers from 7.3 million in 2017 to over 13 million a year. This will see its global network expand to 121 destinations in 68 countries and in the process add another 15 destinations and nine countries to the oneworld network – giving the alliance a total of 1,084 destinations in 187 countries and territories.
Oneworld’ presence in Africa has been limited to the activities of its out of Continent membership, albeit Comair in South Africa, which flies as a franchisee of British Airways, has been a oneworld affiliate member since the alliance launched in Feb-1999. RAM will now give it a firm foundation in Africa, at a time that through the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) shows signs of finally delivering a form of liberalisation to the Continent.
READ MORE via The Blue Swan Daily: RAM’s entry into oneworld finally gives the alliance a visible presence in Africa; is China next?