Those who have been following the 2022 FIFA World Cup will know that it has been full of surprises, such as Saudi Arabia’s win over Argentina, or Japan’s triumphs against Germany and Spain. However, perhaps the greatest surprise package of them all has been Morocco’s charge to the semi-finals. With the Atlas Lions facing France on Wednesday, Royal Air Maroc is ready for a busy week.
Extra widebody flights
Morocco’s early victory over Belgium, who finished third at the 2018 World Cup, certainly caught the eyes of the watching world. However, few would have expected the team to continue in its rich vein of form, with the Atlas Lions eventually topping their group. In the knockout stages, they have registered triumphs against European heavyweights Spain and Portugal to set up their semi-final against France.
With Morocco not being particularly far away from Qatar, where the 2022 FIFA World Cup is taking place, the team has been backed by large numbers of fans. With the upcoming semi-final being the side’s biggest test yet, Moroccan flag carrier Royal Air Maroc is pulling out all the stops to ensure that as many fans can attend the historic game as possible. Its CEO, Abdelhamid Addou, stated that:
“After the unprecedented success of the match between Morocco and Portugal, we are multiplying [the flights] by four, mobilizing nearly 30 flights by aircraft widebody aircraft in just 24 hours.”
Multiple distribution channels
With almost 30 widebodies departing in such a short space of time, the oneworld carrier has innovated in terms of its mean of distributing tickets. While they will be available online as normal, the last thing that semi-final attendees will want is to be unable to access the website due to high traffic. Luckily, there are other options.
Indeed, passengers also have the option to book their flights to Qatar via the airline’s call centers and offices, as well as through Moroccan travel agencies. However they choose to do so, they will be able to benefit from subsidized, fixed-price round-trip fares of 5,000 Moroccan Dirham ($472.29). Abdelhamid Addou adds:
“With our mission of public service and the aim of promoting Morocco and supporting our national team, Royal Air Maroc will not skimp on technical and human resources. We are all behind the Atlas Lions.”
Photo: Getty Images
A busy World Cup for the airline
As it happens, the cut-price tickets aren’t a special offer for the semi-final. Indeed, Simple Flying noted in September, when examining the carrier’s plans for the World Cup, that Royal Air Maroc had already added 3,000 seats at the 5,000 Dirham rate. This is around half the normal price that the Casabalanca–Doha route commands. However, these initially only ran until the end of the group stages.
As such, when Morocco topped a group that hotshots Belgium and Croatia, the airline had to increase its offering. The country’s progression saw Royal Air Maroc add additional seats in time for the Atlas Lions’ penalty shootout victory over Spain in the last 16. The semi-final against France will be a tricky tie for the North African underdogs, but the country will have its fingers crossed for progression to the final.
What do you make of Royal Air Maroc’s increased World Cup schedules? Have you flown with the carrier to Qatar? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments!
- IATA/ICAO Code:
- Airline Type:
- Full Service Carrier
- Year Founded:
- Abdelhamid Addou
- Casablanca Airport