Air Canada and Emirates have announced a new strategic partnership that will launch later in 2022, encompassing new codeshare flights, interline connectivity, and reciprocal frequent flyer and lounge access benefits.
This is an exciting development that promises a more seamless travel experience for Canadians headed to the Middle East and beyond.
New Air Canada and Emirates Partnership
Air Canada and Emirates’s new strategic partnership is set to launch later this year.
At that time, the two airlines will establish specific routes as codeshare services, meaning that an Air Canada-operated flight will also be bookable under an Emirates flight number, and vice versa.
Each airline will also be able to issue passengers a single ticket with onward flights on their opposite number. For example, you’ll be able to buy an Air Canada ticket that takes you from Vancouver to Toronto on Air Canada, Toronto to Dubai on Emirates, and then Dubai to, say, Nairobi on Emirates.
Similarly, Emirates customers would be able to travel from Dubai to Toronto, and then onwards to, say, Calgary and then Grande Prairie, all on one ticket with their bags checked through.
Reciprocal frequent flyer benefits and lounge access are also on the table, ensuring a more seamless journey for each airline’s most loyal passengers.
Aeroplan Elite Status members – and Super Elites in particular – can expect to enjoy many of their benefits when travelling with Emirates, such as priority boarding or check-in and access to Emirates’s extensive network of outstation lounges around the world.
Likewise, Emirates Skywards elite members would be able to enjoy priority access on Air Canada flights, access Maple Leaf Lounges, etc.
Will We Be Able to Redeem Aeroplan Points on Emirates?
While the two airlines have announced that they will cooperate in many different ways, they have stopped short of confirming that their respective frequent flyers will be able to redeem miles on each other’s airlines.
I’d love to be proven wrong here, but I think it’s unlikely that we’ll see the ability to redeem Aeroplan points on Emirates flights, and vice versa.
Air Canada has been on a hot streak of establishing new partnerships in recent years, particularly with airlines in the Middle East. They’ve added Etihad Airways, Gulf Air, and Oman Air as Aeroplan earning and redemption partners, and also linked up with Qatar Airways under a strategic partnership.
It’s my understanding that there are natural limits to how far each partnership can go, due to factors like an airline’s existing partnerships, alliance membership, etc.
While things like codeshares and interline agreements are easier to strike up, reciprocal mileage redemptions are typically only reserved for an airline’s deepest relationships.
Then, take into account the fact that Emirates has been aggressively limiting access to its awards to members of its own Skywards program, and cutting off access from its erstwhile partners like Alaska Mileage Plan.
Therefore, I think it’s more likely that the Air Canada and Emirates partnership turns out similarly to the one between Air Canada and Qatar Airways, stopping short of allowing each airline’s loyalty members to redeem points on the other.
Like I said, though, I’d love to be proven wrong – and if that’s the case, I’ll make sure to down a few extra glasses of Dom Perignon at the Emirates A380 onboard bar to repent for my mistakes.
Air Canada and Emirates have established an exciting new partnership. Starting later in 2022, the two airlines will begin offering codeshare services, interline connectivity, and reciprocal frequent flyer benefits and lounge access.
It would be amazing to see the partnership go one step further and allow reciprocal mileage earning and redemption as well, and I suppose only time will tell whether this gets introduced.