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One of the best Avios redemptions gets twice as easy to find

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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:

airberlin flat seat

You can book these flights via 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.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 2023)

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:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

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 10,500 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

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.

EDIT: Applications for this card are temporarily suspended due to IT issues with the British Airways On Business SME loyalty scheme.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

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.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (53)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Phillip says:

    Etihad are now launching their own direct route to Phuket – do we think this might spell the end of the AB flight between AUH-HKT, that may also have something to do with the addition of a second flight from Berlin?

    • Rob says:

      Interesting. It would make sense for airberlin to drop this, as it will be disproportionately expensive to crew and operate a flight away from your home base. I also assume not many passengers get on in Abu Dhabi for the onward leg – especially now, as locals would choose Etihad over airberlin.

      • Rob says:

        AB service does appear to have disappeared from 26 October when the Etihad service starts

        • Phillip says:

          It’s a shame as it was another good Avios redemption, but it does make more business sense for AB I guess.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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