New Qantas deal with Air France, KLM unlocks 'hundreds of thousands' of reward seats for frequent flyers

Qantas frequent flyer members now have more options to redeem their points for European travel after the airline unlocked more seats through an agreement with two major carriers.

Flights on Air France and Dutch airline KLM have been opened up for Qantas members to redeem frequent flyer points, making more than 60 new European and African destinations available for points redemptions.

Last year Qantas formalised a codeshare agreement with KLM and Air France to provide Qantas customers extra flights to Europe by opening up the Singapore-Amsterdam, Paris-Singapore and Paris-Hong Kong routes.

But until now, the codeshare was excluded from the loyalty program so frequent flyers could not book reward seats on the partner flights.

The renegotiated deal enables Qantas members to redeem points for flights across KLM and Air France's networks. This opens up new cities including Dresden in Germany, Corsica in France and Bristol in England.

Strategic Aviation Solutions chairman Neil Hansford said the news was positive for Australian frequent flyers because it added capacity to the number of points seats and provided "far more options".

"It gives you another alternative to use rewards [points] to get to Europe if you can't get rewards seats on the Qantas flight to London," Mr Hansford said.

"Whereas before you had to use Emirates out of Dubai or British Airways out of Heathrow ... [now] it's letting you use your miles to go to a far more workable hub in Paris or Amsterdam."

Qantas has 12.9 million frequent flyer members, the most of any loyalty program in Australia. Besides actually travelling, members can earn points by spending on Qantas-branded credit cards or through other products such as health insurance.

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Members can redeem points on flights as well as products through the Qantas online store. Flights redemptions usually extract the best value for points, but suitable seats can be hard to find.

The announcement comes after the airline promised in June to add one million extra rewards seats to cater for casual members who were complaining of the difficulty of cashing in their frequent flyer points.

Qantas Loyalty chief executive Olivia Wirth said the new partnership unlocked "hundreds of thousands" of extra rewards seats.

"Frequent flyers used 10 billion Qantas Points booking dream trips across Europe last year.

"We know this partnership will allow our members to explore more of the continent and find reward seats more easily," Ms Wirth said in a statement.

See also: The best way to maximise your frequent flyer points may surprise you

See also: Qantas to add one million reward seats and cut points required in major frequent flyer change

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