What Are Fifth Freedom Flights?

There are five freedoms in aviation. The “fifth freedom” allows an airline to sell tickets and fly between two other foreign countries as long as the flight originates or terminates in the airlines’ home country. 

For example, Cathay Pacific is a Hong Kong based airline, but they are allowed to sell tickets between New York (JFK) and Vancouver, Canada. Cathay Pacific received special permission to fly this route because the next segment of the route is between Vancouver and Hong Kong (their home country). 

Fifth Freedom routes can be a great way to try a foreign airline or fly a very short flight in lie-flat business class. I scored a great deal for $150 to fly in China Southern’s lie-flat business class for the 1.5-hour flight between the Maldives and Sri Lanka. Airlines use fifth freedom flights so that they can serve multiple destinations with one large aircraft, so there can be some great deals between on the shorter segments for either cash or points bookings. 

 


Fifth Freedom Routes

Below is an extensive list of all of the major fifth freedom routes. We focused on routes that typically have wide-body aircraft and routes from North America. We excluded “boring” small routes such as Nairobi to Entebbe on a small regional Rwandair aircraft or Johannesburg to Capetown operated by a British Airways 737 (but we included routes such as Nassau to Grand Cayman on very large British Airways 777 with lie-flat business class seats)

Air Asia

  • Honolulu to Osaka

Air Canada

  • Santiago – Buenos Aires (EZE)

Air China

  • Havana – Montreal
  • Madrid – Sao Paolo (GRU)
  • Panama City – Houston

Air France

  • Los Angeles – Papeete (Tahiti)
  • Miami to Port Au Prince (Haiti)

Air New Zealand

  • Los Angeles – London (LHR)
  • Los Angeles – Rarotonga

Air Tahiti Nui 

  • Los Angeles – Paris

Avianca

  • New York (JFK) – Guatemala City
  • New York (JFK) – San Pedro Sula (Honduras)
  • Miami – Guatemala City
  • Miami – Managua (Nicaragua)
  • Miami- San Pedro Sula (Honduras)

British Airways

  • Antigua – St Kitts
  • Antigua – Tobago
  • Antigua – Turks and Caicos
  • Grand Cayman Islands – Nassau
  • Grenada – Saint Lucia (UVF)
  • Port of Spain – St Lucia (UVF)
  • Singapore – Sydney

Brussels Airlines

  • Freetown – Monrovia

Cathay Pacific

  • New York (JFK) – Vancouver
  • Bahrain – Dubai
  • Bangkok – Singapore
  • Taipei – Nagoya
  • Taipei – Osaka
  • Taipei – Seoul
  • Taipei – Tokyo (NRT)

China Airlines 

  • Auckland – Brisbane
  • Hong Kong – Jakarta
  • Singapore – Surabaya

China Eastern

  • Male (Maldives) – Colombo

China Southern

  • Male (Maldives) – Colombo 

Delta Airlines

  • Tokyo (NRT) – Manila
  • Tokyo (NRT) – Bangkok
  • Tokyo (NRT)- Singapore

Egypt Air

  • Bangkok – Hong Kong

Emirates

  • New York (EWR) – Athens
  • New York (JFK) – Milan (MXP)
  • Abidjan (Ivory Coast)- Accra
  • Auckland – Denpasar (Bali)
  • Bangkok – Hong Kong
  • Bangkok – Sydney
  • Brisbane – Singapore
  • Buenos Aires (EZE) – Rio de Janeiro
  • Christchurch- Sydney
  • Colombo – Male (Maldives)
  • Conakry – Dakar (Senegal)
  • Harare – Lusaka
  • Malta – Larnaca (Cyprus)
  • Melbourne – Singapore
  • Phnom Penh – Yangon
  • Santiago – Sao Paulo

Ethiopian Airlines

  • New York (EWR) – Abidjan
  • New York (EWR) – Lome (Togo)
  • Los Angeles to Lome (Togo)
  • Buenos Aires (EZE) – Sao Paolo
  • Kuala Lumpur – Singapore
  • Oslo – Stockholm
  • Tokyo (NRT) – Seoul

Etihad Airways

  • Bejing – Nagoya

EVA Airways

  • Bangkok – Amsterdam
  • Bangkok – London (LHR)
  • Bangkok – Vienna

Fiji Airways

  • Honolulu – Apia (Samoa)
  • Honolulu – Kiribati (a very small island in Pacific)

French Bee

  • San Francisco – Papeete (Tahiti)

Hainan Airlines

  • Dublin – Edinburgh

Jet Airways

  • Toronto – Amsterdam

Kenya Airways 

  • Bangkok – Guangzhou

KLM

  • Bahrain – Kuwait
  • Buenos Aires (EZE) – Santiago
  • Dammam – Muscat
  • Denpasar (Bali) – Singapore
  • Dammam – Muscat
  • Freetown – Monrovia
  • Jakarta – Kuala Lumpur

Korean Air

  • Colombo Male
  • Honolulu – Tokyo (NRT)

LATAM

  • Miami – Punta Cana
  • New York (JFK) – Lima
  • Sao Paulo – Tel Aviv
  • Frankfurt – Madrid
  • Sydney – Auckland

LOT Polish

  • Budapest – Chicago (ORD)
  • Budapest – London (LCY)
  • Budapest – New York (JFK)

Philippine Airlines

  • Osaka – Taipei

Qantas

  • London (LHR) – Singapore

Qatar Airways

  • Buenos Aires (EZE) – Sao Paulo
  • Ho Chi Minh City – Phnom Penh

Royal Jordanian Airlines

  • Bangkok – Hong Kong
  • Bangkok – Kuala Lumpur

Scoot

  • Honolulu- Osaka 

Sichuan Airlines

  • Prague – Zurich

Singapore Airlines

  • New York (JFK) – Frankfurt
  • San Francisco – Hong Kong
  • Houston – Manchester
  • Los Angeles – Tokyo(NRT)
  • Melbourne – Wellington
  • Moscow (DME) – Stockholm (ARN)

South African Airways

  • Washington DC – Dakar (Senegal)
  • Washington DC – Accra (Ghana)
  • Abidjan (Ivory Coast) – Accra

Surinam Airways

  • Miami – Aruba 
  • Miami – Georgetown (Guyana)

Swiss Air

  • Dubai – Muscat

Thai Airways

  • Seoul – Taipei
  • Muscat – Karachi 

Turkish Airlines

  • Buenos Aires (EZE) – Sao Paulo

Virgin Australia

  • Auckland – Rarotonga (Cook Islands)