Qatar Airways launches its service between Edinburgh and Doha at 2.45 this afternoon, when QR28 takes off via a new Boeing 787.
They will fly five times per week and this will be the first service from Edinburgh to any Middle Eastern destination.
I wrote a few pieces last year about Qatar Airways joining British Airways in the oneworld alliance, eg here and here. If you live within reach of Edinburgh, this gives you a very interesting new option for spending your Avios points, especially as Qatar Airways has an impressive reputation and a growing route network.
The use of a Boeing 787 on this route means that it will feature their impressive new business class seating as pictured above.
Avios redemption seats are bookable at ba.com. A return from Edinburgh to Doha in business class costs 80,000 Avios plus £337 – £175 cheaper than taking a BA flight with a change in Heathrow. Qatar appears to be releasing 4 business class seats per flight.
In Economy, you are looking at 40,000 Avios return plus £232 – a saving of £163 and a few hours of your life over taking a BA connecting flight at £395.
There are also some special sale deals for cash available to launch the route. You will earn Avios and British Airways tier points on these flights.
Travellers on the Edinburgh flight today will be among the first to see the new Hamad International Airport in Doha, which finally opened yesterday after long delays. I will write about this separately in a day or so.
PS. If you are planning to fly to Doha from London, it is worth noting that ex-Heathrow redemptions are also a lot cheaper on Qatar than on British Airways.
The tax on a direct BA Club World flight to Doha is £510 return, whilst a Qatar flight is £369 return. Unless you are using a 2-4-1 voucher from your BA Amex, Qatar is the way to go. You can even try their ‘business only’ late night A319 flight although initial feedback on that has not been too positive.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 2022)
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:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
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.
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 10,000 Avios.
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.