Al-Baker seen with Rabbah following the Qatar Airways-Royal Air Maroc joint press conference at the Four Seasons on Thursday.
By Pratap John
Chief Business Reporter
Qatar Airways will fly daily to Marrakech in Morocco on a code share with Royal Air Maroc, group chief executive Akbar al-Baker has said.
Responding to Gulf Times at a media event at the Four Seasons on Thursday, al-Baker said Marrakech offered tremendous prospects for the airline as it was a major tourism centre in Morocco.
“Marrakech is a beautiful city. A tourist who visits Marrakech will certainly want to go there again and again. We will announce the Marrakech schedule shortly,” al-Baker said.
Currently, Qatar Airways is flying seven times-a-week to Casablanca in Morocco.
Meanwhile, Qatar Airways welcomed the flagship carrier of Morocco, Royal Air Maroc’s first direct flight to Doha, as part of the two airlines’ joint business agreement, which they had signed at the Arabian Travel Market Dubai in May.
Al-Baker joined Morocco’s Minister of Infrastructure, Transport and Logistics, Aziz Rabbah, and the chairman and CEO of Royal Air Maroc, Driss Benhima, to celebrate the commencement of the next phase of the joint business agreement between Qatar Airways and Royal Air Maroc, thus paving the way for the next stage of cooperation between the two airlines.
As part of this new partnership, Royal Air Maroc will operate three flights a week to Doha in conjunction with Qatar Airways.
Flights between Qatar and Morocco have now increased from seven to 10 times weekly, operated jointly by Qatar Airways seven times-a-week and by Royal Air Maroc three times-a-week.
Both Qatar Airways and Royal Air Maroc will be offering a consistent product with an all Boeing 787 Dreamliner operation between Doha and Casablanca.
Al-Baker said, “Qatar Airways is delighted and proud to welcome its partner, Royal Air Maroc, to our hub and home, Hamad International Airport in Doha.
“Our new partnership will strengthen both airlines and provide greater options and a seamless network for our passengers between the Middle East and Africa, and beyond. Royal Air Maroc’s thrice-weekly service between Casablanca and Doha combines with our own daily flights between the two cities to provide an enhanced operation, while the frequency increase not only supports inbound tourism and trade, but is also an important new link for onward travel in both destinations.”
Benhima said the partnership with Qatar Airways was crucial in the history of Royal Air Maroc.
“This joint business allows us to create a bridge between Asia and Africa that will facilitate the movement of passengers in a seamless fashion on the extensive network of Qatar Airways in Asia and the comprehensive network of Royal Air Maroc in Africa,” he said.
Rabbah, who was part of the VIP delegation that came to Doha on Royal Air Maroc’s inaugural flight said, “This partnership enhances the brotherly relations between Qatar and Morocco in air transport, and will also enhance the cultural, economic and social exchanges between the two countries.”
Qatar Airways’ joint business with Royal Air Maroc will offer much broader opportunities for passengers who will benefit from a greater choice of flights and connectivity to destinations such as Marrakech, Agadir, Dakar, Accra or Nouakchott, which will be complemented by frequent flyer benefits such as the ability to earn and redeem Qmiles on flights operated by Royal Air Maroc.
This partnership allows both airlines to compete more effectively and share revenue on routes within the joint business, connecting more than 40 African destinations in Royal Air Maroc’s network to more than 70 Qatar Airways destinations in the Middle East and Asia Pacific region.
This new agreement also allows passengers the possibility of purchasing a single itinerary combining flights on both Royal Air Maroc’s and Qatar Airways’ global networks, allowing them access to one-stop ticketing and baggage check-in.