At some point today, airberlin is likely to confirm to the German stock market that Etihad is raising its stake in the airline from 30% to 49.9%.
More importantly, the airline is to delist from the market. The remaining 50.1% will be held by a group of German investors in order to meet EU airline ownership rules, but Etihad will have by far the largest stake.
It is not clear at the moment if anything will change with airberlin’s position in oneworld. airberlin has an odd position in the alliance, since it is effectively a budget short-haul airline with some long-haul routes attached.
Followers of Head for Points will know that I rate them very highly for their low-tax redemptions. Last year I flew – twice – from New York to Berlin in Business Class for just £1 of tax. A lot of HFP readers also use them to get to the Middle East – the Berlin to Abu Dhabi route is astonishing value at 50,000 Avios + £75 in Business Class.
One recent change is that Etihad is taking over the Abu Dhabi – Phuket flights currently operated by airberlin. From the end of October, all airberlin flights to Abu Dhabi will terminate in Abu Dhabi. Phuket on airberlin will therefore not be available as an Avios redemption after October.
airberlin has been losing so much money in recent years that something had to be done. This transaction is probably not enough to solve the problem, but as long as airberlin remains in oneworld it should be ‘business as usual’ for Avios redemptions.
How to earn Etihad Guest miles from UK credit cards (October 2022)
Etihad Guest does not have a UK credit card. However, you can earn Etihad Guest miles by converting Membership Rewards points earned from selected UK American Express cards.
Cards earning Membership Rewards points include:
- American Express Preferred Rewards Gold (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 20,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 20,000 Etihad Guest miles. This card is FREE for your first year and also comes with two free airport lounge passes.
- The Platinum Card from American Express (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 30,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 30,000 Etihad Guest miles.
- American Express Rewards credit card (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 10,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 10,000 Etihad Guest miles. This card is FREE for life.
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.
Membership Rewards points convert at 1:1 into Etihad Guest miles which is an attractive rate. The cards above all earn 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on your card, which converts to 1 Etihad Guest mile. The Gold card earns double points (2 per £1) on all flights you charge to it.