European Fifth Freedom Routes – The Ultimate List

Every now and then we write about the strange and wonderful world of fifth freedom flights. We actually compiled a list of 2018 fifth freedom flights as well, although the list included flights to/from Europe to other continents. Well, welcome to Simple Flying’s 2019 “Ultimate List” of fifth freedom routes within Europe!

singapore to seattle
Singapore Airlines flies the A350 on SQ361 between Stockholm and Moscow. Photo: Singapore Airlines

A quick introduction

To put it simply, fifth freedom routes are those flown by airlines that do not originate in either the origin or destination country of the route. In most cases, every international British Airways flight begins or ends somewhere in the U.K. and every KLM flight begins or ends in Amsterdam. A fifth freedom route is outside of this – which we’ve explained extensively in a previous article.

The key benefits of fifth freedom routes include:

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  1. A good deal: Sometimes you can get a deal as airlines are just looking to fill seats and make any revenue they can from this extra leg.
  2. A different airline: You have the opportunity to try a distinctly foreign airline on a route that would otherwise be quite mundane. I may have mentioned it before, but one of my favorite fifth freedoms is flying Cathay Pacific between Vancouver and New York. The service is so much better than any Canadian or American airline in my opinion.
  3. A better aircraft: Flying fifth freedom flights within Europe sometimes means flying a widebody. As we’ve written before, flying in Europe usually means being onboard a Ryanair or Eurowings 737-800 going from one side of the continent to the other. Having a widebody on the same route just feels so much more comfortable.
Sichuan Airlines flies an A330 on flight 3U 8295 between Prague and Zurich. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The routes

So, without further delay, here are fifth freedom routes within Europe including airlines and types of aircraft flown:

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Air Malta  – KM512/513 (Airbus A320) – Catania/Vienna

British Airways – BA8241/8242 (Dornier 328-300) – Dusseldorf/Friedrichshafen

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British Airways – BA8254/8253 (Dornier 328-300) – Friedrichshafen/Hamburg

Ethiopian – ET715/714 (Boeing 787-8 or 787-9) – Oslo/Stockholm

Ethiopian – ET713/712 (Boeing 787-8 or 787-9) – Dublin/Madrid

Hainan Airlines – HU751/HU749 (Boeing 787-9) – Dublin/Edinburgh

LATAM – LA705/704 (Boeing 787-9) – Frankfurt/Madrid

LOT Polish Airlines – LO2201/2202, LO2203/2204 (Embraer E190) – Budapest/London City

Lux Air – LG9562/9563 (DH Dash 8 Q400) Saarbrücken/Hamburg

MIAT – OM135/136 (Boeing 767-300) Moscow Sheremetyevo/Berlin Tegel

Sichuan Airlines – 3U8295/8296 (Airbus A330-300) – Prague/Zurich

Singapore Airlines – SQ361/362 (Airbus A350-900) – Moscow Domodedovo/Stockholm

Sometimes aircraft type change from time to time depending on operational requirements. The above examples are what we’ve found to be more common.

Polish carrier LOT flies an Embraer regional jet between Budapest and London City airport. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Conclusion

Fifth freedom routes can be a fun experience and an opportunity to experience more comfort and the hospitality of a faraway airline. Wouldn’t it be great to fly a Chinese airline’s 787 between Dublin and Edinburgh? It sure beats Aer Lingus or Ryanair. Hopefully, you’ll get to try some of the routes we’ve listed here!

Let us know in the comments if this list has inspired you to try one of the above fifth freedom routes. Or if you’ve flown on one of these, let us know how the experience went! Also, let us know if there’s anything we’ve missed!

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Matt

Is it a fifth freedom flight if itya European carrier in Europe? I’m pretty sure that’s allowed even without fifth freedom flights.

Richard

I think the Madrid -Dublin flights on Ethiopian finish end of October

Ygd

SQ DON’T OPERATE A350 1000
THEY USE A350 900

Enus Benjamin

Rwand Air Flies BOM-CAN as fifth freedom flight.
Maldivian flies MAA-DAC

abc def

Emirates fly between Malta and Larnaca. Yes I know some people count Cyprus as Asia while others treat it as Europe, but even if it it Asia it’s not very far from Europe…

bluefrog

back in October 97 flew on Cathy B747 from Paris to Manchester return the only two times i have been on the queen of the skies

ATPL student

Hi, I believe some of the flight numbers here are wrong and the list is outdated/incomplete/contains intra EU flights operated by EU airlines. It also does not make it very easy to understand in which direction the route is flown- Maybe take a look here, this is pretty up to… Read more »

ATPL student

Just booked Latam FRA-MAD for a flight in less than a week, Business Class lie flat, meal served, Dreamliner, IFE, lounge access (good AC Maple Leaf lounge in FRA I believe), checked bags for fantastic … 98€. Why fly Ryanair for 80€? Economy Latam would have been 45€. Looking forward… Read more »