HomeAirline LoyaltyAeroplanAir Canada & Emirates announce a new partnership (reciprocal benefits on the...

Air Canada & Emirates announce a new partnership (reciprocal benefits on the way)

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Air Canada and Emirates have announced a new ‘strategic partnership’ that the airlines say will create more options for customers when traveling on both of the carriers’ networks and which is expected to improve the customer experience for members of Aeroplan and Emirates Skywards.

As is the case with most announcements similar to this one, details are currently still thin on the ground and no specific timeline appears to be in place for what had been agreed, but these are the key details that have been shared:

Emirates and Air Canada intend to establish a codeshare relationship later in 2022 that will…

  • Offer enhanced consumer travel choices for Air Canada customers to travel to the United Arab Emirates and to destinations beyond Dubai.
  • Offer Emirates customers an enhanced travel experience when traveling to Toronto or to key destinations across the Air Canada network.
  • Customers will have the ability to book connecting travel between both airlines’ networks with the ease of a single ticket
  • Connections at the airlines’ hubs will be “seamless” and customers will be able to check their bags through to their final destinations on both carriers.

In addition, both airlines have confirmed that they will also establish reciprocal frequent flyer benefits and reciprocal lounge access for qualifying customers.

Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates has said…

“This is a significant partnership that will enable our customers access to even more destinations in Canada and the Americas, via our Toronto and US gateways. It also opens up many new route combinations for travelers across Emirates’ and Air Canada’s extensive networks in the Americas, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. We are pleased to partner with Air Canada, one of North America’s most established airlines and Canada’s flag carrier and we look forward to jointly progressing on various areas to provide even better customer flight choices and experiences.”

…while Michael Rousseau, President and Chief Executive Officer at Air Canada added the following:

“As we continue pursuing our strategy of expanding our global reach in response to growing opportunities in VFR markets (Visit Friends and Relatives) that serve Canada’s large multicultural communities, we are very pleased to form a strategic partnership with Emirates, a highly respected flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates with a hub in the vibrant city of Dubai. This strategic agreement will create network synergies, and Air Canada customers will have additional, convenient options when travelling between Canada and the United Arab Emirates as well as destinations beyond Dubai”

Interestingly, in June 2020, Air Canada entered into a codeshare agreement with Etihad (a close competitor, in some ways, to Emirates) but while that agreement allows Aeroplan members to earn Aeroplan points when they travel with Etihad, it does not allow flyers to earn Status Qualifying Miles nor does it offer reciprocal elite status benefits.

In a lot of ways, it looks like the new Air Canada/Emirates relationship will be considerably closer than the one that Air Canada currently has with Emirates’ closest neighbor.

This post will be updated with more details as and when the airlines announce them.

Bottom line

Air Canada and Emirates will be entering into a strategic codeshare partnership later this year and at some point down the road, that partnership will offer Air Canada and Emirates Skywards elites, reciprocal status benefits.

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