Oneworld has confirmed to Business Traveller that Royal Air Maroc will join the alliance this week as planned.

The joining date of April 1 had originally been announced in January, before widespread travel restrictions and grounding of aircraft fleets took effect as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Commentators had questioned whether the inauguration would be delayed, but when Business Traveller approached the Oneworld press office on Monday, it was told that “Royal Air Maroc will join Oneworld on April 1, as previously announced”.

Under normal circumstances the alliance would have held a large media event to celebrate the inauguration – obviously this will now not happen, so an altogether smaller announcement can be expected on Wednesday.

Back in January Oneworld said that the Casablanca-based carrier would add up to 39 new destinations in 23 countries to the alliance’s network.

The Royal Air Maroc Safar Flyer loyalty programme has over one million members, all of whom will (theoretically at least) be able to earn and redeem across Oneworld member airlines from April 1.

Royal Air Maroc is also adding a new top tier Safar Flyer Platinum to the scheme, offering Oneworld Priority Emerald privileges including access to business and first class lounges, first class priority check-in, priority boarding and fast track security.

Joining the alliance will expand on the carrier’s existing codeshares with five of Oneworld’s members – American Airlines, Iberia, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian and S7 Airlines.

Royal Air Maroc is Oneworld’s first new full member since 2014 – in September last year it was confirmed that LATAM would be leaving the alliance “in due course”, following Delta’s announcement that it will take a major stake in the Latin American carrier.