Royal Air Maroc joined oneworld alliance earlier this month. It’s a great addition to the alliance which was missing an African-based carrier.
The airline has a strong West-African network with access to major cities: Dakar, Conakry, Abidjan, Niamey, Lagos, Yaounde to name a few.
FROM MONTREAL (YUL)
Reward seats are bookable on British Airways Executive Club using Avios. However, despite a low miles requirement, the fees are disappointingly high:
A Montreal (YUL) to Casablanca (CMN) Economy one-way flight costs 20,750 Avios + $225.23. I’m disappointed. I thought Royal Air Maroc total fees would not surpass the $100 mark.
Out of $225.23 fee, $55.91 are Canadian government, authority and airport charges. The rest is all greed.
The only time I would redeem this flight is under a sense of urgency with a return leg with another reward program with much lower fees. It is a direct flight after all to Morocco and the African continent.
Another alternative is to call American Airlines. But you’ll need 40,000 AAdvantage miles, which take more time to earn via RBC Avion and it’s 10:7 transfer rate.
It’s a trade-off. At the end of the day, it’s your call.
MOROCCAN DOMESTIC FLIGHTS
Moroccan domestic flight save the day. They are a sweet spot. With flights averaging 6,000 Avios + $9.90 in taxes & fees. Here are some reward one-way examples in Economy class:
Casablanca (CMN) – Marrakech (RAK) 6,000 Avios + $9.90
Casablanca (CMN) – Agadir (AGA) 6,000 Avios + $9.90
You may have to call BAEC to inquire about availabilities on other secondary destinations such as Oujda and Fes.
Western African cities are available on BAEC. But the fees go up and reach the $166 mark. Again the required amount of Avios is low but that fee is just hard to accept.
But ticket prices on short and medium haul African flights can be very expensive. Therefore, using Avios or AAdvantage miles can be the best alternative against a ticket priced at +$1,100.
Here are some one-way reward tickets:
Casablanca – Abidjan (ABJ) 11,000 Avios + $166.12
Casablanca – Dakar (DSS) 11,000 Avios + $102.35
Casablanca – Luanda (LAD) 20,750 Avios + $85.42
Again you may have to call BAEC/AA to find availability from some destinations that don’t show online.
THE AADVANTAGE ALTERNATIVE
Some Royal Air Maroc flights can be booked for a more reasonable fee on AA.com. A Montreal-Casablanca on-way flight fees are lower down to $60.40, but more miles are required: 30K for Economy class and 57,500 for Business class.
If you have lots of AAdvantage miles this is a no-brainer.