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You can now use Aeroplan points for Emirates first class, but it isn’t cheap

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Last month, Air Canada Aeroplan made waves when it expanded its partnership with Emirates. As part of the partnership, Air Canada announced that its Aeroplan members would soon be able to redeem Aeroplan points for Emirates first class, arguably the most luxurious product in the skies. These redemptions officially launch today, just over a month after the partnership initially launched with economy and business-class awards.

However, prepare for first-class award sticker shock, as the airline also launched its new Emirates-specific award chart. Until now, economy and business-class awards operated by Emirates were priced like any other Aeroplan partner award ticket. Unfortunately, this new Emirates-specific award chart means you may see higher prices for some award tickets.

Let’s take a closer look at Aeroplan’s new Emirates award chart and compare first-class pricing with Emirates Skywards.

Aeroplan Emirates award chart

Emirates Airbus A380 JFK

As mentioned, Aeroplan has a special (more expensive) award chart for Emirates flights. Given the range in award pricing bands, this award chart could make Emirates awards more or less expensive than flights on other partners at the economy and business-class level, while first-class awards are almost always more expensive.

Here’s a look at how many Aeroplan points you’ll need to fly Emirates, according to Aeroplan:

Flight distance (miles)




Up to 2,000.

15,000 to 35,000 points.

30,000 to 77,500 points.

65,000 to 175,000 points.

2,001 to 5,000.

21,000 to 65,000 points.

45,000 to 140,000 points.

110,000 to 325,000 points.

5,001 to 9,000.

40,000 to 85,000 points.

80,000 to 185,000 points.

225,000 to 475,000 points.

9,001 to 12,000.

60,000 to 110,000 points.

120,000 to 225,000 points.

300,000 to 600,000 points.

12,001 or more.

85,000 to 150,000 points.

180,000 to 300,000 points.

400,000 to 750,000 points.

Related: The best ways to maximize Air Canada’s Aeroplan program

Redeeming Aeroplan points for Emirates flights

Emirates first class

Here’s a look at what the award chart means in practice by looking at some award routes. You’ll see Aeroplan’s price first and can click the arrow next to the image to compare it with Emirates Skywards pricing for the same flight.

A couple of disclaimers before we dive in:

  • Due to dynamic pricing, Aeroplan pricing changes by day and route.
  • Emirates prices some business-class tickets lower when booked as part of a round-trip ticket. We’ve compared both one-way and round-trip itineraries across multiple cabins in the examples below.

Business and first class from Dulles International Airport (IAD) to Dubai International Airport (DXB) one-way

Verdict: Book business class with Air Canada Aeroplan and first class with Emirates Skywards.

Economy class from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) and John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Dubai one-way

Verdict: Book with Air Canada Aeroplan. Note, Emirates economy award rates are lower than United Airlines.

First class from Miami International Airport (MIA) to Dubai one-way

Verdict: Book with Emirates Skywards.

First class from Toronto Pearson Airport (YYZ) to Dubai one-way

Verdict: Book with Emirates Skywards.

Business class from New York to Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP) one-way

Verdict: Book with Air Canada Aeroplan.

First class from Milan to Dubai one-way

Verdict: Choose which is best for you.

First class from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Dubai round trip

Verdict: Book with Emirates Skywards.

First class from Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) to Dubai round trip

Verdict: Book with Emirates Skywards.

Related: Emirates first class still wows: Fully enclosed suites and unlimited caviar

Bottom line

On nonstop flights from North America to Dubai, expect to spend upwards of 300,000 Aeroplan points per person one-way — ouch. That’s a lot of increased sign-up bonuses and credit card spend just for one flight.

However, Aeroplan charges a fraction of the taxes and fees that Emirates Skywards charges, regardless of the cabin you choose. Additionally, you can mix partners on the same Aeroplan award ticket and add a stopover to a one-way award ticket for just 5,000 more points. For example, you could fly from Dubai to Warsaw, Poland, with Emirates and connect from Warsaw to Chicago with LOT Polish Airlines.

Unfortunately, this marks the end of Aeroplan’s bargain award rates for Emirates business class when the two airlines launched their partnership last month. In a statement to TPG, an Aeroplan spokesperson said, “[The previously lower award rates were because the Emirates award chart wasn’t] loaded yet in our systems. It was more important to us to give our members the earliest possible access to these rewards.”