American seeks bigger Africa presence with Royal Air Maroc codeshare

Nov 12, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

American Airlines is mapping out its plans to expand in Africa, with a new codeshare with Royal Air Maroc to complement its new service to Casablanca next year.

American and Royal Air Maroc applied for authority with the U.S. Department of Transportation on Friday to codeshare across their networks. That includes on American’s new flight between Philadelphia (PHL) and Casablanca (CMN) that begins in June. The partnership would allow each carrier to place a flight number on certain flights operated by the other, allowing more seamless bookings and mileage accrual for travelers.

The exact details of the partnership will not be disclosed until after it is approved. However, the airlines’ application lists potential future codeshare markets, including Abidjan (ABJ) in Côte d’Ivoire, Bamako (BKO) in Mali and Cotonou (COO) in Benin.

Sign up for the free daily TPG newsletter for more airline news!

The codeshare is also a precursor to Royal Air Maroc’s entry into the Oneworld alliance, which is expected to occur in 2020.

When American begins flights to Casablanca in June, the destination will be its first in Africa. The destination was selected as a “first step to us really developing an Africa network,” in part, due to Royal Air Maroc’s hub in the city, American’s vice-president of network and schedule planning Vasu Raja said in August.

American has a very limited codeshare network in Africa today. The airline places its code on British Airways and Iberia flights to just eight cities on the continent, a fraction of those offered by competitors Delta Air Lines and United Airlines, according to Cirium schedule data.

Related: How American Airlines’ path to Africa landed in a gin joint in Casablanca

The number of cities in Africa that American offers codeshare flights to could jump to more than 50 under the proposed tie-up with Royal Air Maroc. Most would be served via a connection in Casablanca.

Africa is a growth market for U.S. carriers. United will return to the continent after a multi-year hiatus with seasonal service to Cape Town (CPT) from December. Delta serves four cities in Africa — Accra (ACC) in Ghana, Dakar (DSS) in Senegal, Johannesburg (JNB), and Lagos (LOS) in Nigeria — and has grown capacity annually for the past several years, Cirium schedules show.

The DOT typically approves codeshare applications, almost ensuring that American and Royal Air Maroc’s partnership will move forward.

Featured image by Nicolas Economou/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images.

The All-New United Quest℠ Card

WELCOME OFFER: Up to 100,000 bonus miles

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,040

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X miles on United® purchases

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80K bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, an additional 20K bonus miles after you spend $10,000 in the first 6 months
  • $250 Annual Fee
  • Earn 3X miles on United® purchases, 2X miles at restaurants, on select streaming services & all other travel, 1X on all other purchases
  • Earn 3X miles on United Airlines purchases
  • Earn 2X miles at restaurants and on select streaming services
  • Earn 2X miles on all other travel
  • Earn 1X mile on all other purchases
  • Each year, receive a $125 credit on United® purchases and two 5k-mile anniversary award flight credits. Terms apply.
Regular APR
16.49% to 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent, Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.