Since the summer of 2020, Aeroplan has been steadily adding airline partners to expand the range of redemption options for Aeroplan members. So far, we’ve seen partnerships launched with Etihad Airways, Azul Brazilian Airlines, Vistara, Air Serbia, and Virgin Australia.
Thus, it should come as no surprise that Aeroplan has now added yet another new airline partnership. Starting today, Aeroplan members will be able to earn and redeem points on Air Dolomiti, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Lufthansa Group.
Air Dolomiti is an Italian regional airline with operating hubs in Frankfurt and Munich, primarily serving smaller Italian airports out of these two international gateway airports in conjunction with its parent airline Lufthansa.
Redeem Aeroplan Points on Air Dolomiti
Like all previous partnerships, points redemptions on Air Dolomiti will abide by the following principles:
- Air Dolomiti flights will be priced based on Aeroplan’s pricing for partner airlines.
- Members will be able to book Air Dolomiti flights online and over the phone.
- Air Dolomiti flights can be combined with flights operated by Air Canada and all other international airline partners.
- There are no fuel surcharges, but a $39 partner booking fee will apply.
The partnership officially launched as of today, March 30, and Air Dolomiti flights are now live and bookable in the search engine.
Let’s first take a look at Air Dolomiti’s route network using FlightConnections. Despite being an Italian airline, their website advertises their route network as offering the “best flights to Italy from Munich and Frankfurt.”
Indeed, as Lufthansa’s Italy-based subsidiary, most of Air Dolomiti’s routes are between either Frankfurt or Munich and various smaller Italian markets like Verona (VRN) or Florence (FLR). There’s also a few intra-Italy routes on the map, as well as potentially useful intra-Europe hops like Frankfurt–Barcelona, Munich–Aarhus, or Frankfurt–Linz.
As a regional carrier, Air Dolomiti’s fleet isn’t too much to get excited about: the airline currently has 15 Embraer 195 narrowbody jets, and this number is expected to increase to 26 by 2023.
They technically do offer a business class cabin, although it’s of the European variety – meaning that it’s simply an economy class seat with a blocked seat next to you. With a 2-2 seating configuration on the Embraer 195s, a blocked seat would mean having the entire space to yourself.
As a reminder, here’s the Aeroplan Flight Reward Chart for intra-Atlantic Zone redemptions:
Every single one of Air Dolomiti’s routes falls under 1,000 miles in distance, thus costing 7,500 Aeroplan points one-way in economy class or 15,000 Aeroplan points one-way in business class.
If you were to book an intra-Italy routing, say between Sicily and Sardinia with a stopover in Florence, you’d be able to sneak in under 1,000 miles in distance and pay only 12,500 Aeroplan points with the stopover.
And if you included an Air Dolomiti flight as part of the larger flight redemption from North America to Europe, you’d likely pay between 35,000–55,000 Aeroplan points one-way in economy class or 60,000–85,000 Aeroplan points one-way in business class, depending on the overall distance traversed.
Now, you might be wondering: what does Air Dolomiti really bring to the table when we’ve had access to award space on their parent airline, German flag carrier Lufthansa, all along?
Well, Air Dolomiti tends to focus on seasonal leisure destinations around Europe, and so their route network doesn’t actually overlap with Lufthansa’s all that much.
A quick comparison on FlightConnections shows that Air Dolomiti serves Bari, Italy and Aarhus, Denmark out of Munich, while Lufthansa does not. Out of Frankfurt, three out of Air Dolomiti’s seven destinations are unique: Turin, Pisa, and Verona.
Finally, Air Dolomit also serves the islands of Sardinia (Cagliari) and Sicily (Palermo and Catania) out of their mini-hub in Florence, which represents an excellent way to hop around within Italy using Aeroplan points without backtracking to a different Star Alliance European hub.
Ultimately, Star Alliance’s presence in Europe is already extremely strong, and Aeroplan’s reach even more so with Air Serbia in the mix as well.
While Air Dolomiti might not be the most impactful new airline partner to join the program, it nevertheless offers new one-stop routing possibilities to many popular holiday destinations in Italy and neighbouring countries, as well as convenient connections for Canada’s strong Italian community on their homebound journeys.
Earn Aeroplan Points on Air Dolomiti
As part of the new partnership, Aeroplan members are also able to accrue miles by attaching their frequent flyer number to any paid fares on Air Dolomiti. Aeroplan members will also be eligible to earn Status Qualifying Miles, Segments, and Dollars on Air Dolomiti flights ticketed by Air Canada.
The earning chart is as follows:
As the sixth new airline partnership in less than one year’s time, the addition of Air Dolomiti represents another step in the right direction for Aeroplan, making a host of Mediterranean leisure destinations more accessible via Munich and Frankfurt.
As a small-scale regional carrier in Europe, Air Dolomiti is perhaps less exciting than some of the other new partners. Nevertheless, I’m sure that many of us will be flying with them for the first time using our Aeroplan points once the borders in Italy and the rest of Europe open up again.
I find Aeroplan’s efforts in continuously adding new airline partnerships very commendable, especially compared to the stagnant nature of many other airline loyalty programs around the world.
It feels as though Aeroplan’s leadership has drafted up a “hit list” of potentially useful partner airlines around the world and working away at bringing them into the fold one-by-one. I’m definitely looking forward to whatever partnerships (whether airline or non-airline) are coming up next.