Since last year, Aeroplan has added a multitude of new airline partners (and non-airline partners), including Etihad Airways, Azul Brazilian Airlines, Vistara, Air Serbia, Virgin Australia, and Air Dolomiti.
It’s been a couple of months since the last new partner announcement, so it’s about time that yet another partner airline enters the fold.
Starting today, Aeroplan members will be able to earn and redeem points on Eurowings Discover, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lufthansa that offers leisure routes from their hub in Frankfurt.
Eurowings Discover actually came into existence very recently, operating their inaugural flight just a few days ago on July 24, 2021. Its routes and services will be available to Aeroplan members to book on points right from the get-go.
Eurowings vs. Eurowings Discover
Eurowings has been a subsidiary of the Lufthansa Group since the early 2000s, operating as the low-cost arm within the airline group and serving both short-haul intra-European and long-haul international routes.
In 2021, Lufthansa Group oversaw a restructuring of the Eurowings brand: the short-haul routes would remain under Eurowings, while the long-haul routes would be launched under a brand-new sister airline, Eurowings Discover.
Having only launched this week, Eurowings Discover’s current route network consists of a sole route from Frankfurt to Mombasa, with onward service to Zanzibar.
(Indeed, the airline is so new that it isn’t even on FlightConnections just yet, and Google Flights still lists its name as “Airbus Transport International”.)
However, the airline plans to rapidly scale up its network through the rest of the 2021/22 flying season, including short-haul destinations in North Africa, long-haul destinations across the Americas and Africa, and a secondary hub in Munich to complement their existing hub in Frankfurt.
Redeem Aeroplan Points on Eurowings Discover
Like all previous partnerships, points redemptions on Eurowings Discover will abide by the following principles:
- Eurowings Discover flights will be priced based on Aeroplan’s pricing for partner airlines.
- Members will be able to book Eurowings Discover flights online and over the phone.
- Eurowings Discover 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 today, and Eurowings Discover flights are now live and bookable in the Aeroplan search engine.
Eurowings Discover is scheduled to launch flights to dozens of long-haul destinations over the upcoming year, including:
- Anchorage, United States (ANC) from June 2, 2022
- Bridgetown, Barbados (BGI) from November 1, 2021
- Calgary, Canada (YYC) from May 23, 2022
- Cancún, Mexico (CUN) from March 30, 2022
- Fort Myers, United States (RSW) from March 28, 2022
- Halifax, Canada (YHZ) from June 13, 2022
- Kilimanjaro, Tanzania (JRO) from June 3, 2022
- Las Vegas, United States (LAS) from September 30, 2021
- Mombasa, Kenya (MBA)
- Montego Bay, Jamaica (MBJ) from November 1, 2021
- Port Louis, Mauritius (MRU) from October 1, 2021
- Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (PUJ) from August 9, 2021
- Salt Lake City, United States (SLC) from May 23, 2022
- Varadero, Cuba (VRA) from November 2, 2021
- Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe (VFA) from March 30, 2022
- Windhoek, Namibia (WDH) from August 10, 2021
- Zanzibar, Tanzania (ZNZ)
The most exciting routes are Calgary and Halifax, offering Canadians new options to redeem points for nonstop flights across the Atlantic.
For Calgary, this will be the second non-stop flight to Frankfurt in addition to the Air Canada service. Meanwhile, for Halifax, this will be a very welcome direct flight to continental Europe without having to connect through Toronto or Montreal.
(Based on a Lufthansa Group internal document, it’s my understanding that the Calgary and Halifax routes launching in May and June of next year are currently still marketed with Lufthansa flight numbers, but will change to Eurowings Discover flight numbers as soon as the necessary approvals are granted.)
The Eurowings Discover fleet currently consists of three Airbus A330s, with another six on order and an additional ten A320s on order to service the future short-haul routes to North Africa.
As per Planespotters.net, Eurowings Discover’s current Airbus A330s all came directly from Eurowings, with their six future A330s also set to come from within the Lufthansa Group – two from Swiss’s low-cost subsidiary Edelweiss Air, and four from Lufthansa mainline.
We can therefore expect the same seating configuration as what’s currently found on these airlines, as Eurowings Discover has not announced any type of cabin refurbishment.
All Eurowings Discover business class flights will feature lie-flat seats:
- The seven former Eurowings and Lufthansa A330s will offer 2-2-2 seating, similar to Lufthansa business class
- The two former Edelweiss A330s will offer staggered 1-2-1 and 2-2-1 seats, similar to Brussels Airlines business class
The Airbus A320s will be coming from within the Lufthansa Group as well, although intra-Europe business remains the same regardless: regular economy seats with a blocked middle seat.
As for the cost in Aeroplan points, all of Eurowings Discover’s long-haul flights to North America will cost 70,000 Aeroplan points one-way in business class – with the exception of Halifax, which can sneak in at 60,000 Aeroplan points.
If you’re flying to one of Eurowings Discover’s African destinations from North America via Frankfurt, expect this to run you 85,000–100,000 Aeroplan points for a one-way itinerary in business class.
Africa isn’t necessarily the easiest part of the world to get to on points, so it’s always welcome to have new one-stop routings en route to places like Mauritius, Zanzibar, or Victoria Falls.
I can certainly see the African routes being quite popular among Canadians, especially for those who might prefer transiting or building a stopover in Frankfurt over flying Ethiopian Airlines via Addis Ababa.
In addition, Eurowings Discover’s rather eclectic route network will also introduce new possibilities for creative routings.
For example, you could enjoy a sunny Barbados stopover on your way to Europe…
…or when Air Canada resumes its seasonal service to Alaska, pop up to Anchorage for a long layover before taking the polar route to Europe (sadly, a stopover of extended duration isn’t allowed within Canada or the US).
Earn Aeroplan Points on Eurowings Discover
Finally, as part of the new partnership, Aeroplan members are able to accrue miles by attaching their frequent flyer number to any cash bookings when flying Eurowings Discover.
The earning chart is as follows. Note that intra-European flights on Eurowings are also eligible for Aeroplan mileage accrual, in addition to long-haul flights on Eurowings Discover.
Eurowings Discover might not be the most exciting addition to Aeroplan’s ever-growing partner list. But for those of us travelling on points mostly for leisure, the new partnership adds welcome new ways to reach popular vacation spots with comfort and convenience.
Aeroplan continues to take major strides in adding new partners and expanding their route network. I look forward to trying out Eurowings Discover and many of the other new partner airlines once travel begins to pick up – and I have a feeling that the best new partnerships are still yet to come.