Planning a trip and searching for flights to another country is exciting. As an aviation nerd, I have been known to position to another city just so I could fly a specific airline to my destination. However, “discovering” a foreign airline flies an unexpected route is even more exciting. I know it’s an odd hobby but this is a no judgement zone. *wink*
Yesterday, as I was transiting Newark airport, I strolled past the daily flight that Emirates Airline has scheduled between Newark (EWR) and Athens, Greece (ATH). This is a unique route because the aircraft is not, initially, returning to the carriers “home country.” In this example, Emirates will fly EWR-ATH and then continue to it’s own country of United Arab Emirates. This is known as a 5th freedom route.
I’ve been “discovering” various 5th freedom routes lately because I am planning a big trip around the world soon.
Here are a few routes that I have “discovered” that really interest me.
INTERESTING 5TH FREEDOM ROUTES
#1: Buenos Aires, Argentina (EZE) – Sao Paulo, Brazil (GRU); Qatar Airways
A few days ago, I posted an article about an award trip that went down the drain in less than 24 hours. However, during my research for that trip, I stumbled across this flight. Interestingly, this flight contains the highly awarded Q-Suites or what some have called “the business class that is better than all first classes.” Although, this flight is only scheduled for 2.5 hours, I’m conflicted if I should book it for the short experience or wait until I am flying long-haul (e.g. JFK-DOH) to get the full experience.
#2: Los Angeles, USA (LAX) – London, UK (LHR); Air New Zealand
Last week, as I was walking to my gate at Tom Bradley International Terminal (at LAX), I noticed this pretty bird scheduled to fly LAX-LHR. Although airline manufacturers are producing more fuel-efficient, long-haul airplanes, ~11,400 miles (AKL-LHR) is a bit too far. Currently, the longest flight in the world is Singapore Airlines’ Singapore (SIN) – Newark (EWR) flight with a distance of 9,534 miles. Therefore, Air New Zealand makes a refueling stop to London (via Los Angeles (LAX)).
I find this to be an interesting route as I don’t think many people consider Air New Zealand when they are planning to fly from the US to Europe.
#3: Abidjan, Ivory Coast (ABJ) – Accra, Ghana (ACC); Emirates Airline
I’ve written previously about my plans to go to Ghana in a few months. There are so many routes that I can take to arrive in Ghana, however, it’s the holiday season which means award availability can be somewhat limited. Some airlines are charging an exorbitant amount of miles to fly to Accra (I assume because the demand is high) but, ironically, award availability is wide open for other routes like flying into Abidjan (ABJ). I could then catch a short 1-hour flight on Emirates and be in Accra in no time.
#4: Washington D.C. (IAD) – Accra, Ghana (ACC); South African Airways
South African Airways (SAA) flies non-stop from Washington D.C. (IAD) – Accra (ACC) and this would make the return home from Afrochella extremely easy. I am almost certain that I will be using this flight at the end of the year.
#5: Dubai, UAE (DXB) – Muscat, Oman (MCT); Swiss Air
Muscat, Oman holds the #1 spot for “cities that I want to visit.” I’ve never been there before but something about the city/country fascinates me. This is how I “discovered” this route. Swiss Air has a fantastic business class so I am really intrigued by this route between two great cities.
I trust there are some more unique (and perhaps odd) airline routes out there but these are just a few of my latest discoveries that really intrigue me.
Earlier this year, I wrote about 4 USA 5th Freedom Routes that I was going to fly this year and I’ve completed 3 out of 4 so far. If you follow me on Instagram, you may recognize the photo below as I just completed my amazing business class flight from Houston (IAH) to Manchester (MAN) on Singapores A350-900 (review coming soon).
Ultimately, the flight has to fit in with my travel schedule but there are some unique routes out there if you’re interested in experiencing something different.
Are there any interesting / unique / odd routes the you have flown or are interested in flying?