Emirates, Air Canada Announce New Strategic Partnership. Here's What We Know So Far. Emirates, Air Canada Announce New Strategic Partnership. Here's What We Know So Far.

Emirates, Air Canada Announce New Strategic Partnership. Here's What We Know So Far.

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This week, Air Canada and Emirates announced the signing of a strategic partnership that will come into force later in 2022. While the details are a little thin, what we know so far makes this exciting news and something to look forward to for Air Canada and Emirates flyers.

Emirates and Air Canada tailfins

What We Know So Far

So far, Emirates and Air Canada have committed to establishing a codeshare agreement allowing the booking of connecting travel on one ticket — including seamless baggage transfers. The way this works in practice is pretty simple. Air Canada customers wanting to travel from Toronto to the Maldives can do so on a single Air Canada ticket. They could fly from Toronto to Dubai on Air Canada, then connect on another Air Canada-marketed flight (operated by Emirates) from Dubai to the Maldives.

The other way around, Emirates flyers have more choices for arriving in Canada — especially as Emirates only flies to Toronto in Canada. Travelers from Dubai to Vancouver can book one seamless ticket flying with Emirates to Toronto and then connecting another Emirates-marketed flight (operated by Air Canada) from Toronto to Vancouver.

What We Don’t Know Yet

In statements released July 12, 2022, both airlines announced that they would be looking to establish reciprocal frequent flyer benefits — including lounge access for eligible customers. However, not much else has been announced; we still don’t know:

  • Which benefits will be reciprocated, priority boarding, fast track security, or priority baggage handling?
  • Which routes will be eligible for codeshare bookings?
  • Will you be able to earn miles reciprocally? If so, at what rates?
  • Can you redeem miles for partner awards?

According to the carriers, the above questions and more are yet to be decided and will be announced in due course after regulatory approval and documentation.

Our Take

Although we don’t have all the details, this new partnership between Emirates and Air Canada is excellent news. Any development that adds more choice, flexibility, and makes traveling easier is a bonus. If the partnership results in being able to earn and burn miles reciprocally, then it is even better news and adds a lot to both mileage programs.

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