Last week it was announced that Royal Air Maroc will join the Oneworld alliance in 2020. This means that, eventually, Qantas Frequent Flyer members (and members of other Oneworld airlines’ frequent flyer programs) will be able to redeem their points for Royal Air Maroc awards.
The ability to redeem Qantas points for Royal Air Maroc flights will open up some interesting opportunities. Royal Air Maroc has an extensive network within Morocco, and flies from its Casablanca hub to northern Africa, Europe, the Middle East, North America and Brazil. All Royal Air Maroc flights have both Economy and Business Class, and award availability is typically quite good.
The entry of Royal Air Maroc into the Oneworld alliance will also be good news if you’re planning a round-the-world trip using the Qantas Oneworld Award. Royal Air Maroc will open up more Oneworld destinations and provide an alternative when flying across the Atlantic.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to redeem your Qantas points for Royal Air Maroc flights until mid-2020. But it is already possible for Australians to book Royal Air Maroc award flights via the Etihad Guest program.
Etihad is a partner of several Australian credit card rewards programs, including Amex Membership Rewards. You can also earn Etihad Guest miles by flying with Etihad and its many partner airlines, including Virgin Australia. Buying Etihad miles directly from the airline is also an option! So Etihad Guest awards are accessible to Australians.
How many Etihad Guest miles do Royal Air Maroc awards cost?
Redeeming Etihad miles for award travel on Royal Air Maroc is surprisingly excellent value! Etihad uses a distance-based award chart for Royal Air Maroc redemptions. All flights above 2,000 miles in length cost a fixed price – 22,000 Etihad miles for Economy or 44,000 miles for Business Class. If you were to buy 44,000 Etihad Guest miles outright, it would cost you USD880 (~$1,220).
What’s more – and unlike most Etihad Guest awards – you can include multiple sectors per one-way award itinerary. For example, you could fly from Montreal to Nairobi in Business (a total distance of 7,286 miles) and just pay the 44,000 Etihad Guest miles for the whole trip. According to the terms and conditions on the Etihad Guest website, stopovers in Casablanca are even theoretically permitted. But we’re yet to test whether adding a stopover would work in practice.
Taxes and fuel surcharges are also payable when booking award flights.
Here are the Etihad Guest redemption rates for Royal Air Maroc awards:
|Distance flown (miles)||Economy Class||Business Class|
|Up to 1,000||6,000||12,000|
|1,001 to 1,500||10,000||20,000|
|1,501 to 2,000||15,000||30,000|
How to redeem Etihad Guest miles for Royal Air Maroc flights
The process of redeeming Etihad Guest miles for Royal Air Maroc awards is unfortunately a little complicated. As with all Etihad Guest partner airline awards, you can’t book online. Instead, you’ll need to call Etihad Guest on 1300 532 215 to make your booking at least 24 hours before departure. (This is also the process when redeeming Etihad Guest miles for Virgin Australia award flights.)
Before calling up, you may wish to check for award availability on the flight/s you want. Unfortunately, the only way to do this is to visit the Royal Air Maroc website and select the “Buy your ticket with your miles” option. You’ll need a Safar Flyer account in order to search for award availability on the Royal Air Maroc website. Unfortunately, these seats can’t be found on Expert Flyer – or anywhere else.
The good news is that Royal Air Maroc award availability is usually excellent. Most flights have at least two award seats available – including in Business Class. So you should have little difficulty redeeming your Etihad Guest miles for the flight you want.
Once Oneworld frequent flyers have access to Royal Air Maroc awards, this excellent award availability is likely to decrease. But that won’t become a problem for at least another year.
Would you like help using your frequent flyer points?
Frequent Flyer Solutions offers a personalised service that’s designed to take the hard work out of redeeming your frequent flyer points!
Award Flight Assist can help you to find the perfect flights using your points. Just let the team know how many points you have and where you would like to go, and they’ll prepare an itinerary for you.