If you want to fly with the SkyTeam alliance, but aren’t flying to or from a member airline’s hub airport, it can be worth looking for SkyTeam fifth-freedom routes. These are tag flights that neither start nor end in the operating carrier’s home country.
11 of the 19 SkyTeam member airlines operate 35 fifth-freedom flights all around the world. This creates more opportunities for passengers booking a SkyTeam round-the-world ticket or looking for ways to earn or redeem points on SkyTeam airlines.
Of the SkyTeam airlines, Kenya Airways has a particularly large number of fifth-freedom routes all across Africa, as well as from Bangkok to Guangzhou. KLM also has a substantial number of routes, including Denpasar-Singapore and Buenos Aires-Santiago.
Delta used to have several fifth-freedom routes from Tokyo’s Narita Airport to elsewhere in Asia. But with Delta’s imminent switch from Narita to Haneda Airport in Tokyo, and its increased cooperation with Seoul-based Korean Air, Delta will soon end all fifth-freedom routes out of Japan.
The only SkyTeam fifth-freedom route available out of Australia is from Brisbane to Auckland with China Airlines.
To help you find more of these opportunities, we’ve put together a complete list of fifth-freedom routes on SkyTeam member airlines! This list only includes routes where tickets are available for sale, and is accurate as of August 2019:
- Asuncion-Iguazu Falls
- Los Angeles-Papeete
- Athens-Tel Aviv
- Hong Kong-Jakarta
- Vancouver-Mexico City (starts 27/10/19)
- Tokyo-Singapore (ends 22/09/19)
- Tokyo-Manila (to be replaced by Seoul-Manila in April 2020)
- Addis Ababa-Djibouti
- Livingstone-Cape Town
- Victoria Falls-Cape Town
- Kuala Lumpur-Jakarta
- Buenos Aires-Santiago
- Vientianne-Phnom Penh
- Luang Prabang-Siem Reap
There are currently no SkyTeam fifth-freedom routes operated by Aeroflot, Aerolíneas Argentinas, Aeromexico, Garuda Indonesia, MEA, Saudia, TAROM or Xiamen Air. But Aerolíneas Argentinas previously flew from Auckland to Sydney as an extension of its Buenos Aires-Auckland service.
Wondering what other fifth-freedom routes exist on other airlines? Australian Frequent Flyer has a complete list of worldwide fifth-freedom routes.