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American Airlines to begin Africa service in 2020

American Airlines will begin a nonstop seasonal service to Moroccan city Casablanca on 4 June 2020, marking the US major's first entry into the African market.

The carrier also plans to expand its network in eastern Europe next year.

Flights from Philadelphia to Casablanca will be operated thrice weekly by American, using Boeing 757s.

Royal Air Maroc is joining the Oneworld alliance, of which American is already a member, in 2020. The US carrier's vice-president of network and schedule planning Vasu Raja says the Moroccan flag carrier's addition to Oneworld "will allow for even more connections further into Africa to places like Marrakech, Lagos and Accra".

He noted amid a discussion of Royal Air Maroc's imminent Oneworld membership, during an American Airlines podcast: "This is the first step for us developing an Africa network."

American will in 2020 expand its flights to eastern Europe through Chicago O'Hare International airport using 787-8s. Five-times-weekly flights from O'Hare to Krakow in Poland will begin 7 May, as will a four-times-weekly service to Hungarian capital Budapest. On 8 May, American will begin serving Czech capital Prague five times per week from O'Hare.

"We anticipate continuing to develop Chicago as a transatlantic hub," says Raja, even as the airline continues to de-emphasise O'Hare as a transpacific hub.

American will on 9 September 2020 resume year-round flights to Tel Aviv from Dallas/Fort Worth International airport. The Boeing 787-9 flights will be operated at thrice-weekly frequency. This marks a Tel Aviv return for American, which stopped serving the Israeli city in 2016.

"These flights will serve customers throughout the US and allow many customers to make only one stop," the airline says. "As the tech industry continues to grow in the market, American will provide the most efficient routing to US tech cities like Austin, Texas, and San Jose, California, in addition to one-stop service to 33 new cities in the US."

DFW was chosen by American for the Tel Aviv service because of business going back and forth between Israel and north Texas, and because of its location for passengers in the centre of the USA to connect with international locations, Raja says.

"The interior of the country is really underserved," Raja says of international connections from Texas. "We see this as a huge sign of the future for DFW."

Flights on these new American routes to Morocco and eastern Europe will be available for purchase 12 August, while flights to Tel Aviv become available for purchase on 10 October.

Royal Air Maroc plans to "expand its fleet significantly" following its accession to the Oneworld alliance, the airline said in December. Its addition to Oneworld will add 15 destinations and nine countries to the alliance network. It will be Oneword's first full member based in Africa.

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