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Air Canada and flydubai first forged a partnership this past May, promising loyalty program benefits to follow the original codeshare partnership. The carriers made good on that promise, and Aeroplan members can now redeem points for flights operated by the Dubai-based carrier.
Here's what we know about the most recent developments in the partnership.
What Is Flydubai?
Flydubai (stylized as flydubai) is a low-cost carrier owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.). The airline operates from its base in Dubai to over 120 European, Asian, and African destinations. A glance at the flydubai route map makes its diversity is evident. Destinations stretch from Milan to Pattaya and St. Petersburg to Dar Es Salaam.
Like most low-cost carriers, flydubai operates only one aircraft type in its fleet: the Boeing 737. But unlike most operators, flydubai narrow-body planes feature a lavish business-class cabin.
Lie-flat seats are common for the carrier's longer routes, making journeys more than comfortable. And if you happen to be on a short hop, rest assured you'll have more than adequate space — even in economy.
What We Know So Far
It started with codeshare and interline arrangements
At first launch, the partnership was confined to a codeshare and interline arrangement that only applied to about half of flydubai's routes. This was likely due to Air Canada's other relationship with Emirates, as the original partnership prevented a lot of route overlap.
With the new developments announced today, the limitations of the original announcement have likely gone away, given that Aeroplan members can now access all of flydubai's network on points.
You can now redeem Aeroplan points on flydubai
The ability to redeem Aeroplan points on flydubai flights is what's most new in the partnership between Air Canada and flydubai.
Unfortunately, we can't say that we've found many bargains — yet. Award prices appear to slot into the award chart Air Canada publishes for flights operated by Emirates and flydubai, but that's not exactly a novel conclusion given how wide the price ranges are, shown below:
All of flydubai's map is bookable with Aeroplan points, such as this route between Dubai (DXB) and U-Tapao Pattaya (UTP) in Thailand. Again, the prices are high and uncompetitive, but it's still an exciting development nonetheless.
What To Expect Next
Mileage redemption is a step towards that goal, but we've yet to see any mention of reciprocal benefits for members of both programs. Hopefully, these benefits arrive next year.
Air Canada's partnership with flydubai has expanded. Aeroplan members can now redeem points for flights on the Dubai-based carrier. Although the award prices are steep, the ability to use points on flydubai means new opportunities to redeem points for flights to places that were previously complicated to reach using points and miles.
We're hopeful award prices will come down and the partnership will grow to include reciprocal benefits — two things that'll make Air Canada's linkage with flydubai a bit more practical.
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