Star Alliance Fifth-Freedom RoutesIf you want to fly with a Star Alliance airline, but aren’t flying to or from a member carrier’s hub airport, it can be worth looking for Star Alliance fifth-freedom routes. These are tag flights that neither start or end in the carrier’s own country, and they can be a great way to fly!

18 of the 27 Star Alliance member airlines operate 62 fifth-freedom flights all around the world. This includes routes in and out of Australia, such as Sydney-Rarotonga. These routes create more opportunities for passengers booking a Star Alliance round-the-world ticket, redeeming points across the Star Alliance network, or just looking for ways to earn or redeem points on Star Alliance airlines.

Ethiopian Airlines, based in Addis Ababa, is particularly prolific when it comes to fifth-freedom routes. Ethiopian Airlines operates 14 fifth-freedom routes all over the world, including Singapore-Kuala Lumpur, Stockholm-Oslo and Bangkok-Hong Kong.

Meanwhile LOT Polish Airlines, based in Warsaw, has started to build a mini-hub in the Hungarian capital of Budapest.

To help you find more of these opportunities, we’ve put together a complete list of fifth-freedom routes on Star Alliance member airlines! This list only includes routes where tickets are sold, and is accurate as of August 2019:

Aegean Airlines:
  • Larnaca-Tel Aviv
Air China:
  • Madrid-Sao Paulo
  • Montreal-Havana
  • Houston-Panama City
Air India:
  • Hong Kong-Osaka
  • Hong Kong-Seoul (ends 18 September 2019)
Air New Zealand:
  • Los Angeles-London
  • Sydney-Rarotonga
  • Los Angeles-Rarotonga
  • Sydney-Norfolk Island
  • Brisbane-Norfolk Island
Brussels Airlines:
  • Freetown-Monrovia
Copa Airlines:
  • San Jose-Tegucigalpa
  • San Jose-Managua
  • San Jose-Guatemala
  • Managua-Guatemala
EgyptAir:
  • Bangkok-Hong Kong
Ethiopian Airlines:
  • Seoul-Tokyo
  • Bangkok-Hong Kong
  • Kuala Lumpur-Singapore
  • Sao Paulo-Buenos Aires
  • Lome-Newark
  • Abidjan-New York
  • Harare-Lusaka
  • Bamako-Dakar
  • Johannesburg-Blantyre
  • Stockholm-Oslo
  • Madrid-Dublin
  • Entebbe-Juba
  • Kigali-Bujumbura
  • Beijing-Nagoya
EVA Air:
  • Bangkok-London
  • Bangkok-Amsterdam
  • Bangkok-Vienna
LOT Polish Airlines:
  • Budapest-New York
  • Budapest-Chicago
  • Budapest-Seoul (starts 22 September 2019)
  • Budapest-London City
  • Vilnius-London City
  • Budapest-Brussels (starts 1 September 2019)
  • Budapest-Belgrade (starts 1 September 2019)
  • Budapest-Bucharet (starts 1 September 2019)
Lufthansa:
  • Baku-Ashgabat (ends 26 October 2019)
Singapore Airlines:
  • Melbourne-Wellington
  • Hong Kong-San Francisco
  • Tokyo-Los Angeles
  • Moscow-Stockholm
  • Frankfurt-New York
  • Manchester-Houston
South African Airways:
  • Dakar-Washington DC
  • Accra-Washington DC
  • Accra-Abidjan
Swiss Air:
  • Dubai-Muscat
TAP Portugal:
  • Accra-São Tome
Thai Airways:
  • Taipei-Seoul
  • Karachi-Muscat
Turkish Airlines:
  • Sao Paulo-Buenos Aires
  • Bishkek-Ulaanbaatar
  • Djibouti-Mogadishu
  • Kinshasa-Libreville
  • Ouagadougou-Conakry
United Airlines:
  • Manila-Koror
Fifth-freedom routes operated by Star Alliance members
Fifth-freedom routes operated by Star Alliance members

There are currently no fifth-freedom flights operated by the other Star Alliance carriers. Very soon there will also be no more fifth-freedom flights operated by Lufthansa, as its Baku-Ashgabat service will end in October. (Lufthansa does still operate several overseas tag flights, such as Riyadh-Bahrain and Nur-Sultan to Almaty, but tickets are not available for sale purely on these sectors.)

Wondering what other fifth-freedom routes exist on other airlines? Australian Frequent Flyer has a complete list of worldwide fifth-freedom routes.

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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]