The perks of a 'fifth freedom flight' like Emirates' new route to Malaysia's Penang

2020-01-28 08:44
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Emirates will be launching a new route to Malaysia's Penang from Dubai via Singapore from 9 April 2020 - generally called a 'fifth freedom flight'. 

This will be Dubai's second destination in the Southeast Asian country after the Kuala Lumpur capital. 

The daily flight will be operated by an Emirates Boeing 777-300ER aircraft in a three-class configuration, offering eight private suites in First Class, 42 lie-flat seats in Business Class and 304 seats in Economy Class.

QUICK GUIDE TO MALAYSIA: Make memories in Malaysia 

See the timetable below:

timetable for emirates penang route

(Image: Emirates)

“Penang is a major centre for tourism, business travel, as well as medical tourism and the increased levels of inbound travel are consistent with the growth in numbers of visitors to the country," said Adnan Kazim, chief commercial officer at Emirates.

"We have been serving Malaysia through our flights to Kuala Lumpur for more than 20 years, with three-times daily service, and the introduction of flights to Penang will help us meet growing demand from leisure and business travellers, both to and from Malaysia.

"We are also pleased that the fifth freedom flights between Penang and Singapore will connect two sister cities and increase connectivity for passengers in South East Asia.”

READ: Flavours of Singapore from the cheapest Michelin-starred hawkers stall to spicy Peranakan street food

What is a 'fifth freedom flight'?

A fifth freedom flight is a route operated by an airline that falls outside of their main country of operation - in this case Emirates is operating between two cities outside of the UAE. Airlines are allowed to operate these flights as long as the end or beginning destination is in their home country.

But according to Condé Nast Traveler, travellers should be on the lookout for these kinds of routes because there are a few little-known perks. 

Because these segments are part of long-haul routes, you will end up flying in nicer, newer planes that are more comfortable. These segments also sell seats that can be purchased with frequent flier miles. 

A fifth freedom flight tends to fuel competitive pricing on that route, so airlines will be offering lower prices and sales.

Compiled by Gabi Zietsman

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