hidden europe 57

Fifth-freedom Flights

by hidden europe

Picture above: A Boeing 787 Dreamliner operated by Chilean carrier LATAM (photo © Andrew Periam / dreamstime.com).


You could opt for Ryanair when flying from Edinburgh to Dublin, but - if you must fly for such a short hop - why not choose a more interesting option and book with the Chinese carrier Hainan Airlines? We explore the range of fifth-freedom flights now on offer within Europe.

It is in the nature of our travels that we rarely fly, preferring instead to explore by land or sea. But we do keep an eye on aviation schedules — timetables are always interesting. And it’s a delight to find an improbable airline linking two cities. Here’s a sample of the current crop of oddball routes where unlikely carriers exploit what are in the aviation trade called fifth-freedom rights to serve routes far from the respective carrier’s home base. Bear with us! This is incredibly geeky.

In this year’s summer timetables, which start on Sunday 31 March, it will be possible to fly every day except Tuesday from Madrid to Frankfurtam- Main in a Boeing 787 Dreamliner operated by Chilean carrier LATAM. One-way fares start at €26 for the 2 hrs 40 min flight, but for a real dash of South American style why not think of upgrading to LATAM’s Premium Business Class, where on some days this summer tickets are still available for under €100.

Not only do you get flat-bed comfort and a posh meal in LATAM’s Premium Business Class, but you can also take 77 kilos of luggage at no extra charge. This must be the best airline deal in Europe this summer.

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