airberlin announced on Tuesday that they are doubling the frequency of their Berlin to Abu Dhabi service. There will now be two flights per day between the two cities.
On the face of it, this is relatively dull news. If you know your Avios, though, you’ll know that this is very positive.
Berlin to Abu Dhabi is one of the best value Avios redemptions you can get.
If you fly British Airways in Club World to Abu Dhabi, return, it will cost you 80,000 Avios points plus £514 tax.
If you fly airberlin in Business Class from Berlin to Abu Dhabi, return, it will cost you only 50,000 Avios plus £50 tax.
The saving – if you are prepared to book your own ticket to/from Berlin – is 30,000 Avios and £464 per person!
On top of this, you will also receive free transfers in Abu Dhabi to anywhere in the Emirates, including Dubai! You will also receive free transfers to and from Tegel in Berlin if you choose not to fly directly on to London.
The reason that Berlin to Abu Dhabi is so cheap is that it just sneaks under the 3,000 miles limit that determines whether a flight is 50,000 Avios or 80,000 Avios return in Business Class.
The actual distance is 2,862 miles. Ironically, airberlin also offers a Dusseldorf to Abu Dhabi flight, but that is 80,000 Avios return in Business Class as it just sneaks over 3,000 miles.
The best bit of news is that the new flight will offer a daylight option both ways. The current Berlin to Abu Dhabi flight is overnight arriving at an inconvenient (for a tourist) 7am. The new service will leave Berlin at 10.45am and lands at 19.50.
Similarly, the new return flight leaves Abu Dhabi at 9.10 and lands in Berlin at 13.00. Given the modest flight time, this is a flight that is best done during the day.
The only downside with airberlin redemptions on this route is the cap on seats. airberlin only has 19 Business Class seats on its Airbus A330 aircraft. You only tend to see two seats per flight released for Avios redemptions, so this is not one that is suitable for a family unless you fly in Economy.
(It is not a bad deal in Economy, of course, given that you only need 25,000 Avios return and the tax is only £50. If you took the day flights it would be totally acceptable.)
This is current airberlin Business Class seat on refurbished planes. There was talk of installing the same seat as Etihad on the Abu Dhabi route but I’m not sure if that has been done:
You can book these flights via ba.com on the normal Avios booking page. These new flights are already available for booking for departures from 26th October.
Do NOT try to add a London connection on the same ticket, as you will have to pay long-haul Air Passenger Duty which will add roughly £150 to the taxes total.