As of today Gulf Air is a new mileage earn and burn partner of Air Canada Aeroplan. Gulf Air is Aeroplan’s 8th new airline partner in the last 14 months and the program says to expect “additional airline partners in the months ahead.” Those Amex and Chase points are getting more valuable thanks to Aeroplan transfers.
- Gulf Air has a substantial network across Mideast, India, Pakistan, as well as South Asian destinations including Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Manila. They also serve several major European capitals (like London, Paris, Athens) and holiday destinations (such as Nice and Santorini).
- Redemptions are based on Aeroplan’s existing award chart, and Gulf Air flights can be combined with other partners (including Star Alliance partners and non-Star partners).
Earning miles in an Aeroplan account for paid Gulf Air travel is based on fare class and distance:
|Class of service
|Eligible booking classes
(% of miles flown)
|J, C, D, I
|L, M , B, H
|U, V, E, O, N, S, K, X, Q, W
Before the pandemic Gulf Air planned to launch non-stop flights from the U.S. to Bahrain. At the time the airline’s CEO described himself as being on a mission to deliver a quality product as a path towards profits because his smaller airline can’t compete on network scale and it cannot compete on price either.
Credit: Gulf Air
Aeroplan partners with Etihad as well. Both Etihad and Gulf Air had once been rumored to be in talks to join Star Alliance. Gulf Air codeshares with American Airlines but lost its AAdvantage partnership three years.
Etihad itself was formed after a split between Bahrain and the UAE over its Gulf Air partnership (Qatar and Oman used to be part owners of Gulf Air as well). Gulf Air pulled out of its Abu Dhabi hub, and CEO James Hogan was brought in to launch the new airline from the UAE’s capital. Now the two airlines are working together again.