CASABLANCA, MOROCCO – Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker welcomed national and international media at a press briefing in Casablanca, celebrating a remarkable first year of the airline’s joint business agreement with Royal Air Maroc and its expansion to Marrakech earlier this year. This followed a VIP gala dinner held last night at the Four Seasons Hotel Casablanca also hosted by H.E. Mr. Al Baker and attended by leaders in global aviation and Moroccan VIPs.
The early success of the airline’s second gateway to Morocco was underpinned with an announcement that Qatar Airways will soon be de-linking its current Casablanca-Marrakech route to serve each city directly and will be increasing to a daily frequency to Marrakech in the near future, likely to be served by a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
In its first year of operation the joint business agreement between Qatar Airways and Royal Air Maroc introduced passengers to a seamless travel experience connecting West Africa, the Middle East and Asia, with a code-share partnership offering access to 50 destinations across both carriers’ combined networks. Both airlines provide shared frequent flyer benefits and have aligned terminal operations at Casablanca. Services to the city of Marrakech were added to the joint business agreement in July 2016, further supporting the success of the partnership.
Travellers will soon be able to enjoy even more options as Qatar Airways today announced a number of frequency increases between Doha, Casablanca and Marrakech. From 15 December 2016, Royal Air Maroc will increase flights between Doha and Casablanca to four times weekly, and from 5 January 2017 Qatar Airways will also add a fourth weekly flight to Marrakech ahead of daily services commencing. From 4 April 2017, Royal Air Maroc will add an additional service to the Casablanca-Doha route, taking the number of weekly return services to five.
H.E. Mr. Al Baker also took the opportunity to announce new Qatar Airways destinations planned for launch in 2017-18 including Canberra, Australia; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Santiago, Chile; Las Vegas, United States; Dublin, Ireland; Medan – Kualanamu International Airport, Indonesia and Tabuk and Yanbu in Saudi Arabia.
H.E. Mr. Al Baker, said: “I am very pleased with the performance of our joint business agreement with Royal Air Maroc. Since launching last year, we have seen consistently strong demand on services to and from Morocco. This growth was further supported by the recent addition of Marrakech to our network in July of this year. The increased frequencies between Doha and Casablanca and Marrakech will offer our passengers even more flight options meaning more convenience for global travellers.
“Thanks to this successful affiliation Qatar Airways’ passengers can take advantage of Royal Air Maroc’s comprehensive network in West Africa, while Royal Air Maroc passengers can enjoy our global network spanning the Middle East, Asia, and Australia.”
Passengers travelling to Casablanca and Marrakech on either Qatar Airways or Royal Air Maroc can connect to the West African cities of Cotonou (Benin), Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), Praia and Sal Island (Cape Verde), N’Djamena (Chad), Brazzaville and Pointe Noire (Republic of Congo), Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire), Libreville (Gabon), Banjul (Gambia), Accra (Ghana), Conakry (Guinea), Bissau (Guinea Bissau), Monrovia (Liberia), Bamako (Mali), Niamey (Niger), Nouakchott (Mauritania), Freetown (Sierra Leone), Dakar (Senegal) and Lomé (Togo).
Qatar Airways passengers can also travel onwards to the domestic cities of Morocco, including Marrakech, Agadir, Tangier, Guelmime, Tan Tan, Tetouan, Al Hoceima, Fes, Errachidia, Oujda, Nador, Ouarzazate, Zagora, Laayoune, Dakhla and Beni Mellal.
Royal Air Maroc started operating three weekly flights from Casablanca to Doha using a Boeing 787 on 21 October 2015; complementing Qatar Airways’ already existing daily Boeing 787 Dreamliner flights between Doha and Casablanca. Both airlines offer reciprocal codeshare on each other’s services, giving passengers the flexibility of using a combination of flights from both airlines between Qatar and Morocco.
Qatar Airways launches Apple Pay
Also Qatar Airways has launched its latest payment feature – Apple Pay – becoming the first Gulf carrier to offer the revolutionary ‘mobile wallet’ solution across all 12 countries where Apple Pay is available*.
Available on any iOS compatible device, Apple Pay allows travellers to conveniently and securely book their next journey on Qatar Airways across the airline’s global network with the touch of a finger. Using passcode or fingerprint technology, Apple Pay links directly to the subscribers’ nominated debit or credit card, ensuring a safe and easy way to purchase Qatar Airways tickets.
Qatar Airways Chief Commercial Officer, Dr. Hugh Dunleavy, said: “I am delighted to be able to offer the convenient and secure option of Apple Pay to our global travellers. We continuously strive to make travel easier and the adoption of an industry-leading ‘pay wallet’ solution is a natural progression for us in providing our passengers with the simplest methods to book their next Qatar Airways journey.
“I am confident our incredibly tech-savvy passengers will appreciate the new payment feature when choosing to fly with us.”
Available on iPhone, iPad, and Mac, Apple Pay is simple to use and allows registered customers to select the Apple Pay payment option on the summary page when booking on qatarairways.com or via the Qatar Airways App. Using either a passcode or touch ID, successful bookings result in a confirmation page and booking reference number.
In addition to Apple Pay, Qatar Airways also recently launched the Digital Membership Card for Privilege Club members – another traveller experience enhancement for the airline. The Digital Membership card provides passengers the option to access Qatar Airways’ frequent flyer programme’s many great benefits with the digital card conveniently available on their portable device via the Qatar Airways App, website, Apple Wallet or via email.
“Our travellers are always keen to explore better ways to do things and demand the very best. Both Apple Pay and the Digital Membership Card provides our passengers with the power to choose how they access our award-winning products and services when they travel with us,” Dr. Dunleavy added.
Travellers can book using Apple Pay by visiting qatarairways.com or by downloading the Qatar Airways App on the App Store.