New Avios routes to Madrid from Edinburgh and Manchester with Iberia

Iberia, BA’s sister airline, has announced a number of new UK routes.

The first to arrive will be a service from Edinburgh to Madrid.  This will launch in late March with the start of the Summer timetable.  It will initially operate four times a week but will increase to six flights per week over the Summer.

In September, Iberia is launching Manchester to Madrid.  This will operate four times per week.

Iberia

Gatwick is also welcoming Iberia next year, in the form of its low(er) cost Iberia Express subsidiary.  There will be two flights per day to Gatwick starting in March.

The existing Heathrow services will continue as before, with up to eight Iberia services to Madrid each day plus a further five BA flights.

Tickets for the Edinburgh services are available for purchase at iberia.com or iberiaexpress.com although I cannot see any Avios seats loaded yet.

One upside for readers near Edinburgh and Manchester will be the ability to book Iberia long-haul redemptions more easily.  Iberia now has fully flat seats in business class and its taxes and charges on long-haul redemptions are usually £300 or so lower than BA.

Flying to the US via Madrid may take a couple of hours longer than flying via Heathrow but the cost saving will easily make up for it – as long as you book the UK to Madrid leg separately to avoid long-haul Air Passenger Duty.

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Comments

  1. Did ba summer timetable change yesterday I had 6 flight changes for may. June August ..

    • I was thinking the same – my connecting flight from LBA to LHR changed very slightly yesterday. set’s off 5 mins earlier, arrives 10 minutes later!

  2. If Scotland scraps APD, which is expected after the outcome of the Smith Commission, then that will make the IB EDI-MAD route as a link to long haul considerably cheaper and attractive.

  3. I think MAN is IB express too

  4. Will they have business class on the MAN flight?

  5. Colin MacKinnon says:

    Easyjet have offered a good service to Madrid for a few years now and I have used it to connect to many (most!) long-haul redemptions.
    It is also a great, and cheap, place to spend the night before if on separate tickets. Does it help that my wife is Spanish?
    It’s no wonder that the Scottish Government seems more aware of the impact of APD than the UK Govt: we live in a country where you very often must take a flight somewhere else to get a flight to where you want to go.
    So why not take it outside the UK and save some cash? Which, of course, is a loss for our good neighbours and a gain for others further away.

  6. For those of us up north with options for flying via AMS/Dub/DXB/CDG etc this is a really useful addition. Of all the airports I might connect through Heathrow is at the bottom of the list due to the congestion on the runway/terminal/immigration/lounges. Come a spell of bad weather and it’s the regional flights BA cancel first, not much help if you are trying to connect through.

    I was in Madrid airport this year and amazed at how quiet it was, also the Iberia lounge was very good and also quiet.

    • You should have tried 20.55 LHR-EDI last night for size. 90 minutes late; 30 for weather, and 60 for failed tugs. Apparently a brand new one broke down, as did its replacment requiring a third. Effective layover from BKK was 5h 25 minutes as there is no LHR-EDI between 1725 and 2055. Just about end of my tether with BA, mostly because of LHR. Looks like may swith to QR despite middle of night transfers. A second daily nightime QR departure from EDI would definitely seal the deal for me.Better still would be AY out of EDI; hopefully scrapping APD will give us even more choice.

  7. A benefit of Iberia express is you can choose your seat for free. You can’t with Iberia – on my last flight I was put in the middle seat on the last row of the plane in the middle section and all airport staff refused to move me unless I paid.

    Thankfully the flight was half empty and a flight attendant came and told me I could move once onboard.

    • On Iberia long haul redemptions certainly, you can choose seats free of charge at the time of booking. This has been my experience.

  8. Very poor (in terms of Avios redemptions).

    Current BA route (EDI-LHR-MAD) is 15,000 Avios + RFS return

    New direct Iberia route 22500 Avios + £50 return.

    If two people were travelling, makes more sense to continue via T5, assuming longer travel time not an issue & lounges can be accessed.

    • … and from Manchester to Madrid, easyJet will usually be cheaper than the Iberia Avios redemption taxes and has a more generous hand luggage policy.

    • pazza2000 says:

      Yes, the cash price may be nice from EDI though the Avios required will be more as was the case with BA’s EDI – IBZ over the summer; 20k vs 15k flying via LON.