Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

British Airways launches new routes from Gatwick, cuts back Maldives and Buenos Aires

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

British Airways released a flurry of route announcements last week.  These things tend to come out in bursts, since every route cancellation will eventually be matched by a new route or capacity addition.

Here is a summary of the announcements.  All of these changes will commence from the week of March 29th.  Seats can be booked now at

British Airways BA A350 in flight


Seville (from Gatwick).  This will run 5 days per week all year round.  This is a great place to visit if you have never been.  It is officially the ‘hottest major Metropolitan area’ in Europe!

Las Palmas (from Gatwick).  This will run 2 days per week all year round.

Funchal (from Gatwick).  This will run 3 days per week all year round.

BA has already announced the launch of Cagliari, Crete, Rhodes, Bodrum and Dalaman for next Summer.


Colombo to be dropped.  This is currently an add-on to the Maldives service.  This was on the cards since SriLankan joined the oneworld alliance – they offer a direct service to Colombo with no need to stop in Male on the way, and you still earn Avios and tier points.

Maldives to become ‘Winter only’.  This is a bit of a surprise since I assume there is a decent volume of premium business on this route, even in Summer.  They won’t be selling many fully-flexible tickets but I would have expected it to out-yield plenty of other routes.  Flights will end on 29th March and not resume until October.

Antigua to be increased to a daily service from 5 per week

Orlando to be increased from 13 to 14 departures per week

Port of Spain to be increased from 5 to 6 departures per week

Grenada, Kingston, Las Vegas and Mauritius will see changes to flight times

Buenos Aires (served from Heathrow, all of the above changes are from Gatwick) is to be reduced to five flights per week from the current seven.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 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:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

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.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

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.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

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.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (28)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Fiona says:

    Very intresting, I can not help but think their business plan must have changed somewhat with all thier short haul flights.

    What is of real interest to me is that flight times from Mauritius will be changing as we are honeymooning there in March 2015 and coming back on the BA flight to LGW. When I look at my booking the flight times are still showing the same but wonder if the changes have not filtered through yet.

    • Mark says:

      Flight times back from Mauritius are currently 7.45am departure. That’s a horrible time, especially since most of the hotels are some distance from the airport. We chose BA redemption flights to Johannesburg on the A380 with an onward connection via South African / Air Mauritius instead (not that there was much if any direct redemption availability anyway).

      I hadn’t noticed an upcoming schedule change but it’s got to be better than that.

      29 Degrees Sud is my hotel recommendation for anyone not wanting a large resort hotel. It would make an excellent honeymoon choice.

      I suspect the issue generally for BA with Indian Ocean holiday destinations is competition from the middle eastern carriers, Emirates in particular especially for anyone not starting in London.

  • fuggi says:

    Darn it, I was planning a 2-4-1 redemption to Sri Lanka in 2016 🙁

    • Polly says:

      So were we, so disappointed …

      • Rob says:

        I am guessing that Qatar flies it so you could 241 to Doha and then use Avios on Qatar for the final hop. SriLankan also flies to other places in the region and of course you can redeem on them too for a hop from India or the Middle East, using BA for the first bit.

  • Richie says:

    It was wierd because there was often seats avaliable for redemption on coolumbo but not male.
    And coolumbo was often cheaper when booking a cash ticket. I did this in April and there was 20people left of for the male -coolumbo leg. Jamie cAlumn and Sophie Dahl got on and sat in row 4 in club. (I was in row 1)
    I can see why the extension has been dropped , especially with the addition of ssrilanka to oneworld.
    Surprised about no summer flights to male though.
    Redemption on ssrilankam airlines might be your best bet.

  • Phil says:

    When would it be possible to book on the new flights? You mentioned March is when the changes come into effect.

  • Rich. says:

    The retirement of the 737s and replacement with Airbus A320s and A319s has changed the economics on some of these short routes.
    Remember that BA at Gatwick is getting a sub fleet with even more seats crammed on board the A320 than the newly refurbished aircraft at Heathrow…

    As regards the withdrawal of the summer service to Male, it seems that BA have been upsetting a lot of customers by not offering a re-routing on another one world carrier (I.e Sri Lankan or Qatar)
    Considering Male is a special holiday and Honeymoon destination, this is likely to be remembered by those effected for a long time. It has been posted on flyer talk that even Gold Guest List (BA’s highest level of recognition obtainable unless you have boardroom approval for a Prem. Card) are not being looked after, and being told that the only option is a refund, which is contrary to EU legislation. Surely when. BA look to pull a route, they should properly look after the booked passengers?

    • Rob says:

      I am pretty shocked by the some of these Maldives stories, I admit. People will be locked in to pre-paid hotels and may be in trouble if they cannot find reasonably priced alternatives. If they had booked on Avios because they did not have the ££ to pay cash for flights (especially if in Business) they are really stuffed.

    • Lady London says:

      Am I right in thinking that “Oh Yes they can” get away with cancelling the flights and not rebooking you, provided they have given at least two weeks notice? I was royally *****ed over last year by LH when they cancelled flights ruining an entire itinerary. I was told they were not obliged to do anything to help with rebooking the rest of my shattered itinerary as they had given enough notice.

      I’d really appreciate if anyone knows if airlines can just cancel anything they like at two weeks notice leaving the passenger with the problem on an itinerary that’s been booked for months.

      • Rob says:

        Not sure if it is 2 weeks but, yes, they have a lot of leeway until it gets very close to departure.

  • Richie says:

    Off topic but I got one of the a320 new seats aircraft on a flight to Warsaw yesterday. Only 67 people on board on a 28 row aircraft.
    Why rant they using these on the busier routes for maximum impact.
    They look a lot better that the old seats and business looks quite classy.
    I gave up 4c for a whole row in row 20 so I could sleep for 2hours. And can confirm the arm rests do go up all the way.

    • Rich. says:

      Not ranting, the seats are better in ET behind the exit rows with slightly more space.
      The real issue is the tight pitch extending to the CE part of the cabin.
      Unlikely to cause me a problem as I have downgraded a lot of my flights to ET and pre assigned the exit row.
      But then I have long legs!

      • richie says:

        Iv just landed back from wawsaw. I can agree the pitch in club is just as tight as economy. You are right that exit rows have more leg room. I was in 1d and had to change because the bulkhead was giving me cramp after 20mins in the air. I took up 2c which was slightly better as legs have somewhere to go. However for business class its way too tight. I think they should have gone for a fixed system and removed the middle seat all together. Yes it wouldn’t be as flexible as the moveable partition but it could have ended up being a product that people were actually willing to pay for. As It is I think ba will end up loosing out with this new tight pitch and totally useless middle seat.

        • Idrive says:

          I am booked on my next two short haul flights on seat 11/12 -exit row- do you think that it will be good for my legs (i am pretty tall). This is the best i could choose after all.

          Re the CW i agree that seat in the middle is completely unuseful they could just have enlarged the seat in first place!

          • Alan says:

            I find the exit row seats pretty decent on BA shorthaul economy and always opt for them if I can (apart from on domestic flights where I just want to be as far forward as possible)

          • Rich. says:

            Book row 11 to be sure……
            If you are in 12 and a non refurbished A320 turns up you will no longer be in the exit!

  • Lady London says:


  • idrive says:

    I am actually very disappointed by the (almost) non existing redemption availability for London-Buenos Aires over the full year!

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.