Most people know that – if you redeem your Avios points via avios.com and not ba.com – you can redeem for flights on Air Malta. Aurigny, the Channel Islands airline, Flybe and Monarch are also available at avios.com.
You can move Avios points from ba.com to avios.com using the ‘Combine My Avios’ function on either website. I wrote about these avios.com redemption in detail in this post from our Avios Redemption University series.
When I first wrote about this it was picked up by the Malta Points blog. After a few months, someone at Air Malta noticed the piece.
Air Malta then got on the phone to Tom who runs Malta Points. Because Air Malta had no idea that Avios was giving away its flights!
This does sound slightly crazy. However, Air Malta is not exactly a big business – it only has 11 aircraft! – so the left hand is definitely aware of what the right hand is doing. Their ‘commercial department’ (probably two people!) was quite clear that they did not have any deal with Avios!
There is nothing wrong with this of course. What I would guess happened was this:
Avios identified Malta as a popular holiday destination for UK residents
British Airways, at that point, did not fly to Malta (it does now having restarted services last year)
Avios decided that the scheme would benefit from offering Malta and linked up their reservation system to pull in Air Malta flights from one of the Global Distribution Systems
If you book an Air Malta flight at avios.com, it seems that Avios is paying the standard cash price across to Air Malta!
This leads to the obvious question of whether Flybe, Aurigny and Monarch have proper agreements with Avios or if Avios is simply buying their seats on the open market as well.
All very odd. You can read more about it at Malta Points here.