You’ll soon no longer be able to earn or redeem Qantas points or Cathay Pacific Asia Miles for Aer Lingus flights. From 30 June 2019, the Irish flag carrier will terminate its partnership with both Oneworld carriers. The ability to earn Aer Lingus AerClub Avios on Qantas and Cathay Pacific flights is also being removed.
Currently it is possible to earn Qantas points, but not status credits, when taking Aer Lingus flights with an “EI” flight number. It’s also possible to redeem Qantas points for flights across Aer Lingus’ network of intra-Europe and trans-Atlantic flights.
Qantas will still accept retrospective points claims for Aer Lingus flights taken prior to 30 June 2019 until the end of June 2020. You can also still redeem points for travel on Aer Lingus beyond 1 July, as long as your award booking is ticketed by the end of June. Aer Lingus reward seats are available up to 11 months in advance.
Bizarrely, there is currently no information on the Cathay Pacific or Asia Miles websites about the end of the Aer Lingus partnership. But such airline partnerships are always reciprocal. So, with Aer Lingus ending its partnership with Cathay Pacific on 30 June 2019, it’s only a matter of time before Cathay Pacific also makes an announcement.
Many other Qantas partner airlines continue to operate flights to Ireland, including British Airways, Emirates, Qatar Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, American Airlines, Westjet and even Russia’s S7 Airlines.
After terminating its partnerships with Qantas and Cathay Pacific, Aer Lingus will be left with just two airline partners in British Airways and United.
Aer Lingus is owned by International Airlines Group (IAG), which also owns British Airways and Iberia. There has been some speculation that Aer Lingus could be preparing to join the Oneworld alliance, either as a full member or a Oneworld Connect member. So the upcoming change could be a preparatory step in that direction. Aer Lingus was previously a Oneworld member but left the alliance in April 2007.
Meanwhile, Royal Air Maroc is preparing to join Oneworld as a full member next year.
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Aer Lingus leaves QFF