Air Canada Aeroplan has announced a new partnership today with Gulf Air. This is Aeroplan’s 42nd partner and though Gulf Air does not fly to the United States, this opens some redemption opportunities that may be of interest when combined with other partners.
As Aeroplan points out in its press release, Gulf Air flies a fleet of Airbus A320s and Boeing 787s. Business class on the 787 looks quite nice.
According to One Mile at a Time, the farthest west that Gulf Air flies is London and the farthest East is Manila. That won’t make it the most useful airline for those looking to depart the US (though you could fly United to London or another Star Alliance carrier to one of the cities in Europe that is served by Gulf Air and connect onward on a single award). Gulf Air serves a number of destinations that would fit into the “Atlantic” zone on Air Canada’s award chart, which stretches as far east as India. They obviously serve a number of destinations in The Middle East as well as a couple in Africa and Southeast Asia. It will be a useful partner to keep in mind for connecting itineraries.
You can book online at aircanada.com (don’t forget to toggle on the “points” switch) and awards are available in either economy or business class. Indeed, these are already bookable. Economy class from New York to Bahrain will set you back 55K miles in economy class or 85K in business class.
You could then connect onward from there on Gulf Air. Depending on how far you travel, the top end of the distance band for the Atlantic region is 100K points one-way. Keep in mind that Air Canada allows a stopover on a one-way award for 5K miles, so you could theoretically stopover in either London or Bahrain and still connect onward to another destination.
Overall, this addition won’t make a tremendous difference to most members, but it is certainly good news nonetheless to have another interesting partnership to keep in mind in the right situation. It is great to see Aeroplan continue to add partnerships and continue to strengthen its program even through challenging times in the industry.