Aeroplan members can now earn and redeem points on Gulf Air, whose operations span Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Bahrain-based Gulf Air doesn’t currently operate any flights to North America, but those looking to hop onward from Europe (or those living outside North America) will be happy to have another way to use Aeroplan points.
Gulf Air isn’t part of any airline alliance. Like other Middle Eastern airlines such as Emirates and Etihad, Gulf Air instead functions on individual partnerships. This new venture between Aeroplan and Gulf Air’s Falconflyer program is the eighth for the Canadian airline in the last 14 months, and we expect to see more in the future.
Earning points on Gulf Air will be based on flight distance and class of service rather than fare paid, which is more common for carriers outside North America. Here are the rates you can expect based on what cabin you’re in:
|Cabin||Fare Class||Earning Rate|
|Economy||H, M, L, B||50% (of miles flown)|
|W, Q, X, D, K, N U, O, E, V, N||25%|
|Business||D, I, J, C||125%|
Program Sweet Spots
This is especially exciting news for those looking to make short-haul trips within the Middle East. In particular, the newly launched Bahrain (BAH) – Tel Aviv (TLV) route will run you just 12,500 Aeroplan points each way in economy:
The cash price for the flight, meanwhile, is exorbitant — as is common with Middle Eastern carriers heading to Israel:
A flight to Dubai from Bahrain, meanwhile, will run you just 7,500 points in economy each way:
Those same flights are otherwise $265 round-trip:
As you can now transfer both American Express Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards to Aeroplan at a 1:1 ratio, as well as Capital One miles at a 2:1.5 ratio, earning points for these flights is going to be easy.
The Air Canada Aeroplan and Gulf Air Falconflyer partnership is exciting news for anyone with an Amex or Chase card looking to boost their trips within the Middle East — or anywhere Gulf Air flies. With easy redemptions and some serious sweet spots to consider, Aeroplan members have yet another partner on which to earn and redeem their points.