Monday, March 16, 2015

Royal Air Maroc and JetBlue set to Expand Morocco-U.S. flights

During my recent visit to Marrakech.
After shooting multiple photos, I decided this was best example of what we witnessed the International press conference announcing this important news between a US and a Moroccan airline. 

Royal Air Maroc, Sponsor of ASTA Destination Expo in Marrakech, Signs Deal with JetBlue to Expand Morocco-U.S. flights
By Sandy Dhuyvetter, TravelTalkMEDIA
Starting left is Chairman and CEO of RAM Driss Benhima, JetBlue Director of Alliances Tracy Bink, and RAM executive, Mr. Elaissoug. Far right is ASTA President and CEO, Zane Kirby
Marrakech, Morocco - JetBlue Airways and Royal Air Maroc, the flagship carrier of the Kingdom of Morocco, signed an agreement in front of International Press from the American Society of Travel Agents Destination Expo held in Marrakech this month.

The two airlines filed an application with the U.S. Governments to enter into a codeshare partnership that will offer customers easy connections between the two airlines' networks. Customers will be able to combine ticketing and baggage transfer when connecting between the two carriers. Flights will become available for sale after receipt of regulatory approval.

Zane Kirby, President and CEO of American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) said, “The expansion of air service between the U.S. and Morocco is essential to tourism between both countries. We heard from Moroccan tourism officials that hotels are often at very low occupancy rates—under 60 percent. As Americans are better able to connect to Royal Air Maroc’s flights out of New York Kennedy, such as through this expansion with JetBlue, we know that it will drive tourism to Morocco, especially now that several hundred ASTA agents have returned home prepared to sell the country after experiencing it. ASTA encourages opening markets and increasing air service to more U.S. cities by more airlines around the globe. Free and unfettered travel for all Americans is a goal of our members.”

Under the proposed codeshare agreement, Royal Air Maroc will place its "AT" airline code on JetBlue flights between New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and 22 destinations in the U.S., including Boston (BOS), Chicago O'Hare (ORD), Denver (DEN), Los Angeles (LAX), Orlando (MCO), San Francisco (SFO), Tampa (TPA) and Washington D.C. (IAD). Additionally, JetBlue and Royal Air Maroc customers will be able to easily purchase a single ticket with seamless bag transfers via Casablanca's Mohammed V International Airport (CMN) to Marrakesh and 15 other Moroccan destinations, as well as a further 24 destinations in West Africa. Less than two weeks ago, Royal Air Maroc introduced its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft on the Casablanca-New York/JFK route.

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