After a 14 year gap, British Airways announced yesterday that it is resuming flights to Kuala Lumpur.
The service will begin on May 27th 2015. It will be operated by a four class Boeing 777 which will include First Class. BA has stated that it intends to prioritise the route for a Boeing 787 aircraft later in 2015.
The flight times are both overnight. The outbound will depart at 20.15, arriving at 16.00 the following day. The plane will then sit on the ground for seven hours (an expensive option when dealing with $200m aircraft) to depart at 23.05. It lands back in London at 05.25.
Given that Malaysia Airlines joined the oneworld alliance last year, this is a slightly surprising move. Malaysia Airlines is operating TWO A380’s from London to Kuala Lumpur each day, each of which will have substantially more capacity than a 777, and which features Malaysia’s latest seating. You can earn Avios and British Airways Executive Club tier points on either service.
Let’s look at the redemption opportunities.
Avios availability to Kuala Lumpur is excellent. In fact, I have NEVER seen such good Avios availability on any route.
Here is a screenshot looking for 2 Club World seats:
As you can see, there are two seats every day for this period. In fact, from what I could see there are – in general – seats in EVERY class on EVERY day at the moment. Club World tends to have 4 seats available, First Class has two.
Kuala Lumpur is, of course, very close to Singapore and it is easy to connect between the two by numerous modes of transport. This offers an additional opportunity for anyone looking to connect to the British Airways Singapore to Sydney service down to Australia.
Malaysia Airlines also runs a number of routes to Australia and New Zealand from Kuala Lumpur. These include (subject to change at the moment) Adelaide, Brisbane, Darwin, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Auckland. You could therefore use your 2-4-1 voucher to fly to Kuala Lumpur on British Airways and then book a second Avios redemption, at full price, for a connection on Malaysia.
Comparing taxes and charges
If you are simply looking to fly to Kuala Lumpur and do NOT have a 2-4-1 voucher, I would give British Airways a miss. The taxes on a Club World return ticket from London to KL will be £558 plus 140,000 Avios.
If you take the Malaysian Airlines service (on an A380 remember, with flat beds) in business class, from Heathrow, you will pay just £442 in tax – saving £116.
For an even bigger saving, head over to Amsterdam or Frankfurt or Paris (Paris is an A380 city).
Because Amsterdam is closer to Kuala Lumpur, you only need 120,000 Avios in business class. The tax is only £279. This saves 20,000 Avios and £279 in tax per person. This is a Boeing 777 route.
From Paris, the tax is just £330. You would get an A380 here. From Frankfurt, it is £321 with a Boeing 777.
Note that some of these routes are at risk in the current Malaysia Airlines restructuring, now that the airline has been renationalised. You may, though, come out on top if that happens as you may be able to get rerouted from London without needing to pay additional taxes or Avios.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (May 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. 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.
The Platinum Card has doubled its sign-up bonus to 60,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert to 60,000 Avios, if you apply by 1st June 2022.
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.
(Want to earn more Avios? Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)