Emirates launching service between New York and Milan on October 1, 2013

Starting October 1, 2013, Emirates will be launching daily nonstop service between New York and Milan. This flight will be the extension of one of their three daily flights between Dubai and Milan, and will be operated by a Boeing 777-300ER. It will operate with the following schedule:

EK205 Milan to New York departing at 4:00PM and arriving at 7:00PM
EK206 New York to Milan departing at 10:20PM and arriving at 12:15PM (+1 day)

I love fifth freedom routes, if for no other reason than the added variety. But for those of us looking to redeem points, this could actually be a really great route as well. One of the best programs through which to book Emirates award travel is Japan Airlines’ Mileage Bank. I outlined the basics of redeeming miles with them for travel on Emirates here, though as a refresher this is what their award chart looks like for travel on Emirates:

As luck would have it, New York to Milan is 3,995 miles, so by my math that makes a roundtrip journey just under 8,000 miles. That means a roundtrip award ticket on Emirates would cost 39,000 miles in coach, 63,000 miles in business class, or 100,000 miles in first class. Keep in mind you can transfer points at a 1:1 ratio from Starwood to Japan Airlines, and get a further 5,000 point bonus for every 20,000 points transferred. Not even maximizing the efficiency of transfers, that means a roundtrip coach award would cost you 34,000 Starpoints, a roundtrip business class award would cost you 53,000 Starpoints, and a roundtrip first class award would cost you 80,000 Starpoints.

That’s pretty darn tough to beat. And while Alaska Mileage Plan is also an Emirates partner, they don’t have an award chart published between New York and Europe. There’s a chance they may update it, or there’s a chance they may not add it till they enter their next round of negotiations with Emirates.

The flights haven’t been loaded into the GDS yet, though once they are I’ll report back on what award availability looks like.

(Tip of the hat to Jack)

Filed Under: Emirates
  1. @ Lantean — It’s virtually the same. The only difference is that there’s no onboard shower or bar.

  2. @Lantean, in addition to what Lucky said, the b777 first class only has 8 seats, whereas the a380 has 14.

  3. “New York to Milan roundtrip is 3,995 miles, so by my math that makes a roundtrip journey just under 8,000 miles.” I think you meant one-way the first time

  4. Wow, that’s a nice award. Almost makes paying 2.6 cents for Starpoints until April 30th worth it…

  5. @ Beachfan — When booking through JAL you can’t combine Emirates with travel on other partners, unfortunately.

  6. Hi Ben,

    Which do you consider to be the best value; 63k in J or 100k in F? Seems in this case the J-to-F premium is a bit too rich for me.

    Best mac

  7. @ Mac — That’s a toughie. It’s a premium of 37,000 miles for first class, so that’s 18,500 miles per direction. Usually I’d say that’s a no brainer for an upgrade to a top first class product, given that some would spend 15,000 miles and a co-pay for a domestic upgrade. But one of the only ways to fund a Japan Airlines account is through Starwood, and those points are really valuable/rare, so that does make it a bit tougher.

    I’d probably say that business class is a slightly better relative value.

  8. Not including the positioning flights hurts the value too.. and at such a short TATL flight, i’d go for biz too.

  9. Oh the joys. MXP-JFK in First late November: 20’067 EUR. That is nearly 26’000 USD return 🙂

  10. Thanks Lucky! Sorry I missed that post since I was away in early March. As of right now, it seems like this is the best way to redeem an Emirates First class roundtrip flight! Using JFK-DXB roundtrip as an example, I’d either use 135,000 miles on JAL or 180,000 miles on AS, is that correct?

  11. Ben

    This is awesome news!

    But how can we rack up Starpoints? I have had a hard time with Starpoints, while my Ultimate Rewards are multiplying like rabbits.

  12. @ Philipp — Yeah, there’s no doubt that’s a challenge. Starpoints can really only efficiently be earned through their co-branded credit cards and through hotel stays. So they’re much tougher to earn. But keep in mind they do allow household transfers for those living at the same address, so if you have a spouse or roommate you can at least have them sign up for cards as well and combine your totals.

  13. Interesting option….Thank you!

    Any idea what fuel surcharges Japan/Emirates assesses?

    What’s the best way to find award availability?

  14. @ Mike — The flights haven’t been loaded into the GDS yet so no way to know fuel surcharges or availability. That being said, the best way to search Emirates award space is through ExpertFlyer.

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