Finnair has been running charter flights to Phuket in Thailand for a number of years. These have not been directly bookable, however, and so were not available for Avios redemptions.
From November 14th, these will become scheduled services.
Finnair will fly to Phuket three times a week and Krabi – from December – twice a week. These will be operated with A340 aircraft. I would put money on Finnair using the aircraft which are due for replacement next year and therefore will not be receiving the new fully flat business class seat.
There are some good reasons to cheer this announcement:
British Airways availability to Thailand is generally poor
The direct Finnair flight to Phuket or Krabi, with a connection from the UK to Helsinki, will not be much less convenient than flying BA to Bangkok and taking a connection
Taxes will be substantially lower if you fly to Helsinki on a separate ticket to avoid long-haul Air Passenger Duty
Finnair flies from Manchester to Helsinki which makes this attractive for those in the regions
Seats are not yet available for sale at finnair.com as far as I can tell. Once they do appear, award seats will presumably also be bookable.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (January 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:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 21st February 2023, the sign-up bonus on the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card is increased to 35,000 Avios from 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
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.
SPECIAL OFFER: Capital On Tap has increased its sign-up bonus to points worth 30,000 Avios if you apply by 4th February. This is exclusive to Head for Points readers. Click here to apply.
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.