Royal Air Maroc To Join Oneworld Alliance

Royal Air Maroc is to join the Oneworld alliance from mid-2020.

London Air Travel » Oneworld Alliance

Royal Air Maroc joins the Oneworld alliance
Royal Air Maroc joins the Oneworld alliance

Royal Air Maroc is to be the next full member of the Oneworld alliance from mid-2020.

The announcement was made today, Wednesday 5 December 2018, at a press conference in New York. Its regional subsidiary Royal Air Maroc Express will also join as a Oneworld affiliate member.

This means that members of Oneworld alliance frequent flyer programmes will be entitled to earn miles and tier points/status credits and receive reciprocal recognition when flying on Royal Air Maroc.

Royal Air Maroc’s principal hub is in Casablanca. The airlines flies to Casablanca from Gatwick and Heathrow daily. From Casablanca, it serves a signifiant number of destinations in West Africa. This includes a number of routes previously suspended by BA including Freetown, Luanda and Monrovia.

It has a fleet of 55 aircraft, with Boeing 737-800 and Embraer E190 aircraft operating short and medium-haul routes, and Boeing 767 and Boeing 787-8 aircraft operating long-haul routes. The airline does have ambitious plans to grow its fleet and network, and also plans to revamp its brand image and aircraft interiors.

Co-operation between Royal Air Maroc and Oneworld has been expected for some time. It already codeshares with Iberia and Qatar Airways. It was also announced more than two years ago that it was due to adopt the Avios currency. This has not happened yet, possibly due to IT issues.

BA did fly from London Heathrow to Casablanca until October 2012 after it inherited the route from bmi. It may well reinstate the route to offer onward codeshares with Royal Air Maroc.

Earlier this year, Oneworld introduced a new form of membership Oneworld Connect. Fiji Airways is the inaugural Oneworld Connect member. Under Oneworld Connect membership only a limited range of benefits are offered to customers of Oneworld airlines and full Oneworld benefits, such as earning of frequent flyer miles, are offered to sponsoring airlines.

In terms of other prospective members of Oneworld, Alaska Airlines has confirmed it is looking at Oneworld Connect membership. Aer Lingus may also rejoin the alliance after it joins the transatlantic joint-venture with American Airlines, BA, Finnair and Iberia.

Thai Airways & Turkish Airlines delay move to Terminal 2

London Air Travel » Oneworld Alliance

London Heathrow Terminal 2A Forecourt
London Heathrow Terminal 2A Forecourt (Image Credit: London Heathrow)

Things had appeared to be going well with the opening of Heathrow’s new Terminal 2 with United Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, and ANA now ensconced in the terminal and no sign of a repeat of the disastrous opening of Terminal 5 in 2008.

However, gremlins seem to have emerged.

There was a baggage system failure affecting passengers at Terminal 2 last week. For reasons we don’t entirely understand Terminal 2 is using Terminal 1’s baggage system.

And we don’t know if this is connected, but there have been very well publicised intermittent problems with the baggage system at Terminal 5 caused by software issues over the past few days.

To allow further testing of the baggage system, Thai Airways Turkish Airlines’ moves from Terminal 3 to Terminal 2 tomorrow (2 July 2014) has been postponed until Thursday 28 August 2014.
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Heathrow Terminal 2 opens on 4 June 2014 with United

London Air Travel » Oneworld Alliance

London Heathrow Terminal 2A Forecourt
London Heathrow Terminal 2A Forecourt (Image Credit: London Heathrow)

Heathrow Terminal 2 “The Queen’s Terminal” opens to the public next week, on 4 June 2014.

The new terminal, the first to open since Terminal 5 in 2008, has been designed by Luis Vidal + Architects.

It will house all Star Alliance member airlines at London Heathrow who are currently split across Terminals 1, 3 and 4. These include United Airlines, Air Canada, Singapore Airlines, SAS, Swiss and Air New Zealand.

The terminal will also house non-alliance members Germanwings (a subsidiary of Lufthansa) and Aer Lingus, as well as Virgin Atlantic’s domestic “Little Red” flights to Manchester, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.

United Airlines is the first airline to move into the terminal, consolidating its operations in Terminals 1 (Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco & Washington) and 4 (New York Newark, Houston).

The first flight to arrive at the terminal will be United Airlines flight UA858 from Chicago at 05:55.

The first flight to depart from the terminal will be United Airlines flight UA123 to Washington at 07:30, followed by United Airlines flight UA929 to Chicago – two of seventeen flights due to leave that day.

United Airlines will also have two departure lounges for eligible passengers: A United Club and United Global First Lounge. The lounges will feature floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the airfield and will offer complimentary food & drink and Wi-Fi in addition to business facilities and shower suites.

We also understand that Aer Lingus, Air Canada, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines will have their own lounges for eligible passengers.

One point of interest is that there will be a paid for access Plaza Premium Lounge for passengers who do not have lounge access by virtue of their ticket type or frequent flyer status. The lack of such a lounge in Terminal 5 is a regular comment we hear.

Like Terminal 5, public art features prominently in the terminal.   The consultancy FutureCity has commissioned sculptor Richard Wilson MBA to produce a 70m long sculpture “Slipstream” which was officially unveiled on 23 April.

Of course, this being Heathrow, significant attention has been given to the retail offer in the terminal. The full list of retailers has been published. As well as the standard UK airport fare, two noteworthy tenants are John Lewis and the “Perfectionist’s Cafe” by Heston Blumenthal.

Lessons have been learned from the opening of Terminal 5 in the move of airlines will take place in phases over six months. Air Canada, ANA and Air China will follow United Airlines on 16 June 2014.

As a consequence of the move, Terminal 1 is expected to close in 2016. British Airways will consolidate its operations that are currently across Terminals 1, 3 and 5, into Terminals 3 and 5 in 2015.

Heathrow airport has provided a brochure to promote the new terminal and more information is also available on the Heathrow airport website.

Heathrow Terminal 2 opens in three months’ time on 4 June 2014

London Air Travel » Oneworld Alliance

London Heathrow Terminal 2A Forecourt
London Heathrow Terminal 2A Forecourt (Image Credit: London Heathrow)

If you’ve flown through London Heathrow recently you couldn’t have failed to notice the progress in the building of Terminal 2, “The Queen’s Terminal”, which opens in three months from today, on 4 June 2014.

The new terminal, the first to open since Terminal 5 in 2008, has been designed by Luis Vidal + Architects.

It will house all Star Alliance member airlines at London Heathrow who are currently split across Terminals 1, 3 and 4. These include United Airlines, Air Canada, Singapore Airlines, SAS, Swiss and Air New Zealand.

The terminal will also house non-alliance members Germanwings (a subsidiary of Lufthansa) and Aer Lingus, as well as Virgin Atlantic’s domestic “Little Red” flights to Manchester, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.

Continue reading “Heathrow Terminal 2 opens in three months’ time on 4 June 2014”

Could Gatwick persuade one of the alliances to defect?

London Air Travel » Oneworld Alliance

London Gatwick Airfield (Image Credit: London Gatwick Airport)
London Gatwick Airfield (Image Credit: London Gatwick Airport)

On Monday 23 September 2013, the Financial Times featured an interesting story where the Chief Executive of London Gatwick, Stewart Wingate, postulated, known in politics and the press as “kite flying”, that if a second runway for Gatwick was approved, one of the “Big Three” airline alliances could be persuaded to defect from Heathrow airport.

Is there any mileage in this?

Put simply, I don’t think so.

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Members of Qatar Airways “Privilege Club” can earn miles on BA

London Air Travel » Oneworld Alliance

Qatar Airways Logo
Qatar Airways Logo (Credit: Qatar Airways)

Qatar Airways has today announced that members of its frequent flyer “Privilege Club” can earn frequent flyer miles when flying on British Airways from Monday 2 September 2013.

Member of the Privilege Club will also be able to redeem their frequent flyer miles on British Airways flights from 1 October 2013.

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London Heathrow Terminal 2 to open on 4 June 2014

London Air Travel » Oneworld Alliance

London Heathrow Terminal 2A Forecourt
London Heathrow Terminal 2A Forecourt (Image Credit: London Heathrow)

Heathrow Airport has today confirmed that London Heathrow airport’s newest terminal, Terminal 2, will open to the public on 4 June 2014.

The new terminal will house all Star Alliance member airlines at London Heathrow. These include United Airlines, Air Canada, Singapore Airlines, SAS, Swiss and Air New Zealand.

The terminal will also house non-alliance members Germanwings, a subsidiary of Lufthansa, and Aer Lingus, as well as Virgin Atlantic’s new domestic operation, Little Red.

Continue reading “London Heathrow Terminal 2 to open on 4 June 2014”