Dubai-based Emirates Air Line is one of the world’s largest users of fifth-freedom flights. All over the world, Emirates currently has 15 fifth-freedom tag flights that operate as a continuation of a service originating in Dubai to a third country.
By flying on Emirates fifth-freedom routes, you can experience the excellent Emirates service without ever going to Dubai. Emirates has a fleet of long-haul Boeing 777 and Airbus A380 aircraft, each fitted with Economy, Business and First Class seats. The A380 is even used on routes like Sydney-Christchurch, meaning you can experience Emirates’ superb First Class product – and even have a shower – when flying across the Tasman. Other airlines flying on the Sydney-Christchurch route don’t even come close to matching the premium Emirates product!
It’s possible to redeem Qantas Frequent Flyer points to fly on all Emirates routes. Award availability is generally excellent on most Emirates fifth-freedom routes, so this can be an excellent use of Qantas points. However, Emirates fuel surcharges can be rather high.
At the start of this month, Emirates cancelled its Sydney-Bangkok route. But, from Australia, the airline still operates daily Sydney-Christchurch, Brisbane-Singapore and Melbourne-Singapore services. Emirates also flies from Auckland to Bali, as well as serving two trans-Atlantic routes from Milan and Athens to New York. Within Europe, Emirates flies daily from Larnaca, Cyprus to Malta.
Emirates also serves three short-haul routes within Africa. Note that the flight from Conakry, Guinea to Dakar, Senegal is flown in that single direction only.
Here is a complete overview of Emirates fifth-freedom routes, as of June 2019:
Emirates will also commence flights from Dubai to Mexico City via Barcelona on 9 December 2019, using Boeing 777-200LR aircraft. Emirates has been trying to start Barcelona-Mexico City flights for a while but initially failed to secure daily slots at Mexico City’s airport. The airline also faced pressure from Aeromexico to cancel the route. Aeromexico did not previously fly from Mexico City to Barcelona, but announced new plans to do so shortly after Emirates did. Emirates’ CEO Tim Clark says that flying non-stop from Mexico City to Dubai with a full payload would be impossible due to the high altitude of the airport.
Fifth-freedom routes that Emirates has previously served include Sydney-Auckland, Brisbane-Auckland, Melbourne-Auckland, Colombo-Singapore and Yangon-Phnom Penh. In the future, Emirates plans to launch daily service from Barcelona to Mexico City.
Wondering what other fifth-freedom routes exist? Australian Frequent Flyer has published a complete and regularly-updated list of fifth-freedom flights from all over the world: A Complete List of Fifth-Freedom Routes