Emirates has announced that it will launch a new fifth freedom route from Singapore to Penang, Malaysia. The daily flights will be operated by Emirates Boeing 777-300ERs featuring Economy, Business and First Class seating, and you can redeem Qantas Frequent Flyer points to book a seat!
The service will begin on 9 April 2020, around a week after Emirates axes its daily Singapore-Brisbane flights. The full routing will be Dubai-Singapore-Penang. So with this new service, Emirates will retain 4 daily non-stop flights between Dubai and Singapore after the Dubai-Singapore-Brisbane flight is withdrawn.
The flight numbers will be EK348 and EK349, the same as were previously used for Emirates’ (now discontinued) fifth freedom service from Dubai to Singapore via Colombo. Here is the full schedule:
- EK348 Dubai 02:30 – Singapore 14:05/15:35 – Penang 17:15
- EK349 Penang 22:20 – Singapore 23:50/01:40 (+1) – Dubai 04:55 (+1)
Penang will be Emirates’ second destination in Malaysia after Kuala Lumpur. It’s worth noting that Qatar Airways already offers direct flights from Doha to both Kuala Lumpur and Penang, as well as flights to Langkawi via Penang.
Emirates currently operates 16 fifth-freedom routes worldwide. These include Sydney-Christchurch, Melbourne-Singapore and a new service from Barcelona to Mexico City.
More options between Singapore and Penang
There are currently around 15 flights per day between Singapore and Penang, a flight which takes around an hour in the air, on Jetstar, Air Asia, Scoot and Silk Air. With the exception of Silk Air, which offers a regional Business class product, all of these airlines are low-cost carriers.
By offering angle-flat Business class seats and 8 First class suites on the route, Emirates’ product on this short intra-Asia flight will be far superior to anything else offered!
Although 354 extra seats per day between Singapore and Penang is a lot of extra capacity, some of these passengers will be connecting to/from Dubai. Emirates will also offer 15 tonnes of cargo capacity on this fifth-freedom route.
Redeem Qantas points to fly Emirates
You can of course redeem Qantas Frequent Flyer points for Emirates flights, and the Singapore-Penang route is no exception. It would cost 8,000 Qantas points to fly one-way in Economy, 18,400 points for Business or 27,600 points for First class, plus taxes.
If you’re redeeming Qantas points to fly from Australia to Singapore with either Qantas or Emirates, you may even be able to add on an Emirates flight from Singapore to Penang without spending any extra frequent flyer points! However, due to the flight’s timing, you would need to stop overnight in Singapore.
At this early stage, award availability on Emirates’ Singapore-Penang route appears to be limited. But there are already some dates with First class award seats available at a cost of just 27,600 Qantas points, plus around $58 in taxes. It appears that there are no Emirates carrier charges for this short flight, however you can expect to pay (very high) carrier charges if taking this flight to/from Dubai.
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Emirates adds SIN-PEN fifth-freedom route
Would you like help using your frequent flyer points?
Frequent Flyer Solutions offers a personalised service that’s designed to take the hard work out of redeeming your frequent flyer points!
Award Flight Assist can help you to find the perfect flights using your points. Just let the team know how many points you have and where you would like to go, and they’ll prepare an itinerary for you.