I try to mention new British Airways long-haul route launches on Head for Points, but Colombo in Sri Lanka got missed.
From 14th April, BA now flies three times a week to Colombo from Gatwick. This is not really a new route, because it is being tagged on to the flight to the Maldives. The plane will now carry on to Colombo before turning back to Male and then back to Gatwick.
Unfortunately, unless British Airways intends to offer separate availability, I would imagine that Avios seats to Colombo will be very rare. Almost all available seats are likely to be snapped by people travelling to the Maldives.
(Interestingly, a post on Flyertalk suggested that there was better availability Colombo-Male-London than there was Male-London, but I couldn’t prove this when I looked.)
There are a couple of things worth knowing, though:
You can buy tickets on the BA flight from Male to Colombo. Club World is around US$600 return for the 85 minute flight.
You SHOULD be able to use Avios points, at the Reward Flight Saver level of taxes. However, ba.com consistently threw up error messages when I was trying to test this. The American Airlines site also does not show any BA availability. This is a bit odd as the plane presumably empties massively in Male.
You can also get from Colombo to London on Avios on Royal Jordanian, changing in Amman (potentially to a BA flight)
I mention this because Colombo is one of the cheaper places in the world to start a flight. If you can get reward flights to/from Male but not in the other direction, there may be good value cash ticket available via Colombo to get you home.
The next long-haul route to launch is Chengdu in China in September. Forward bookings for this are very poor, I understand, so there is a chance it may be pulled before it is even launched. This would be an embarrassing move for British Airways, though, as part of the push for a third runway at Heathrow is the supposedly hidden demand for more flights to obscure parts of China ….
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (October 2022)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.
Run your own business?
We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,000 Avios.
You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.
There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.