Emirates Expands Skywards Loyalty Program & Adds Flights To Europe

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Over the past few days Emirates has announced that it has expanded its Skywards loyalty program to include its low-cost subsidiary flydubai. The airline has also announced more flights between Dubai and Europe as a result of “strong market demand”.

Skywards Expanded To Include flydubai

As of the beginning of this month flydubai’s OPEN program is no more and Emirates’ Skywards program governs both Emirates and flydubai.

Image Emirates

As of 1 August 2018 Emirates Skywards members now earn miles and tier points on all flydubai flights and can also spend Skywards miles (or a combination of cash and miles) to book flights marketed and operarted by flydubai. Skyward miles can now also be used to purchase extra legroom seats and pre-order meals on flydubai.

Here are some of the other important highlights that Skywards members will want to know:

  • Skywards members can now use the flydubai Miles Calculator tool on Emirates.com to see how many miles they can earn for each fare type.
  • Emirates Skywards Silver, Gold and Platinum members will be entitled to select benefits regardless of their class of travel when flying with flydubai. These benefits include extra baggage allowances and priority check-in at flydubai’s Business Class counters.
  • Flydubai flights will also count for the “first flight bonus” that new Emirates Skywards members receive when they take their first flight within six months of joining.

Emirates Adds Flights To Amsterdam

 It was only a few years ago that Emirates was facing significant resistance after suggesting that it wanted to operate more flights in and out of Amsterdam Schiphol but the landscape is very different now.

Emirates won its battle for more slots at Amsterdam’s primary airport and promptly doubled the number of flights it offered between Dubai and Amsterdam to 14. Now that number of weekly flights is set to increase again – this time to 19.

Image Emirates

From 1 December 2018 Emirates will add 4 weekly flights to the Dubai – Amsterdam route and then add a further weekly flight from 1 January 2019.

Here’s what the planned schedule looks like from 1 January 2019:

EK145 DXB 02:45 – 07:20 AMS (Sun) **New**
EK145 DXB 03:20 – 07:45 AMS (Mon) **New**
EK145 DXB 03:20 – 07:50 AMS (Fri) **New**
EK145 DXB 04:10 – 08:40 AMS (Wed & Sat) **New**
EK147 DXB 08:10 – 12:40 AMS (Daily)
EK149 DXB 15:15 – 20:00 AMS (Daily)

EK146 AMS 09:50 – 19:25 DXB (Sun) **New**
EK146 AMS 10:55 – 20:40 DXB (Sat) **New**
EK146 AMS 11:20 – 21:05 DXB (Fri) **New**
EK146 AMS 11:40 – 21:25 DXB (Wed) **New**
EK146 AMS 12:00 – 21:45 DXB (Mon) **New**
EK148 AMS 14:30 – 00:15+1 day DXB (Daily)
EK150 AMS 22:00 – 07:45+1 day DXB (Daily)

[HT:Routes Online for the timings]

The new flights will be operated by Emirates’ 3-class Boeing 777-300ER aircraft offering the following cabin configuration:

  • 8 First Class Suites
  • 42 Business Class seats
  • 310 Economy Class seats

The fact that the 777-300ER being brought in to operate the new flights has 8 First Class suites indicates that this will not be one of the airline’s newer refurbished 777s.

This also means that the business Class cabin will be in a 2-3-2 layout which does not offer all-aisle access seating even if it does offer lie-flat seats.

It’s nice that Emirates is adding more service to Amsterdam but for those flying in Business Class the airline’s A380 (operated on two other flights) is a far superior option – this version of Emirates Business Class is an outdated product and one that I’d avoid if I had other options.