Starting October 1, 2013, Emirates will be launching daily nonstop service between New York and Milan. This flight will be the extension of one of their three daily flights between Dubai and Milan, and will be operated by a Boeing 777-300ER. It will operate with the following schedule:
EK205 Milan to New York departing at 4:00PM and arriving at 7:00PM
EK206 New York to Milan departing at 10:20PM and arriving at 12:15PM (+1 day)
I love fifth freedom routes, if for no other reason than the added variety. But for those of us looking to redeem points, this could actually be a really great route as well. One of the best programs through which to book Emirates award travel is Japan Airlines’ Mileage Bank. I outlined the basics of redeeming miles with them for travel on Emirates here, though as a refresher this is what their award chart looks like for travel on Emirates:
As luck would have it, New York to Milan is 3,995 miles, so by my math that makes a roundtrip journey just under 8,000 miles. That means a roundtrip award ticket on Emirates would cost 39,000 miles in coach, 63,000 miles in business class, or 100,000 miles in first class. Keep in mind you can transfer points at a 1:1 ratio from Starwood to Japan Airlines, and get a further 5,000 point bonus for every 20,000 points transferred. Not even maximizing the efficiency of transfers, that means a roundtrip coach award would cost you 34,000 Starpoints, a roundtrip business class award would cost you 53,000 Starpoints, and a roundtrip first class award would cost you 80,000 Starpoints.
That’s pretty darn tough to beat. And while Alaska Mileage Plan is also an Emirates partner, they don’t have an award chart published between New York and Europe. There’s a chance they may update it, or there’s a chance they may not add it till they enter their next round of negotiations with Emirates.
The flights haven’t been loaded into the GDS yet, though once they are I’ll report back on what award availability looks like.
(Tip of the hat to Jack)