Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

New Avios routes to Madrid from Edinburgh and Manchester with Iberia

Links on Head for Points may support the site by paying a commission.  See here for all partner links.

Iberia, BA’s sister airline, has announced a number of new UK routes.

The first to arrive will be a service from Edinburgh to Madrid.  This will launch in late March with the start of the Summer timetable.  It will initially operate four times a week but will increase to six flights per week over the Summer.

In September, Iberia is launching Manchester to Madrid.  This will operate four times per week.

Iberia A350

Gatwick is also welcoming Iberia next year, in the form of its low(er) cost Iberia Express subsidiary.  There will be two flights per day to Gatwick starting in March.

The existing Heathrow services will continue as before, with up to eight Iberia services to Madrid each day plus a further five BA flights.

Tickets for the Edinburgh services are available for purchase at or although I cannot see any Avios seats loaded yet.

One upside for readers near Edinburgh and Manchester will be the ability to book Iberia long-haul redemptions more easily.  Iberia now has fully flat seats in business class and its taxes and charges on long-haul redemptions are usually £300 or so lower than BA.

Flying to the US via Madrid may take a couple of hours longer than flying via Heathrow but the cost saving will easily make up for it – as long as you book the UK to Madrid leg separately to avoid long-haul Air Passenger Duty.

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (March 2024)

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.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points 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

Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 9th April) and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

Huge 60,000 points sign-up bonus (until 9th April) 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 (18)

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

  • richie says:

    Did ba summer timetable change yesterday I had 6 flight changes for may. June August ..

    • Daniel says:

      I was thinking the same – my connecting flight from LBA to LHR changed very slightly yesterday. set’s off 5 mins earlier, arrives 10 minutes later!

  • Graeme says:

    If Scotland scraps APD, which is expected after the outcome of the Smith Commission, then that will make the IB EDI-MAD route as a link to long haul considerably cheaper and attractive.

  • James says:

    I think MAN is IB express too

  • James says:

    Will they have business class on the MAN flight?

  • Colin MacKinnon says:

    Easyjet have offered a good service to Madrid for a few years now and I have used it to connect to many (most!) long-haul redemptions.
    It is also a great, and cheap, place to spend the night before if on separate tickets. Does it help that my wife is Spanish?
    It’s no wonder that the Scottish Government seems more aware of the impact of APD than the UK Govt: we live in a country where you very often must take a flight somewhere else to get a flight to where you want to go.
    So why not take it outside the UK and save some cash? Which, of course, is a loss for our good neighbours and a gain for others further away.

  • CV says:

    For those of us up north with options for flying via AMS/Dub/DXB/CDG etc this is a really useful addition. Of all the airports I might connect through Heathrow is at the bottom of the list due to the congestion on the runway/terminal/immigration/lounges. Come a spell of bad weather and it’s the regional flights BA cancel first, not much help if you are trying to connect through.

    I was in Madrid airport this year and amazed at how quiet it was, also the Iberia lounge was very good and also quiet.

    • James67 says:

      You should have tried 20.55 LHR-EDI last night for size. 90 minutes late; 30 for weather, and 60 for failed tugs. Apparently a brand new one broke down, as did its replacment requiring a third. Effective layover from BKK was 5h 25 minutes as there is no LHR-EDI between 1725 and 2055. Just about end of my tether with BA, mostly because of LHR. Looks like may swith to QR despite middle of night transfers. A second daily nightime QR departure from EDI would definitely seal the deal for me.Better still would be AY out of EDI; hopefully scrapping APD will give us even more choice.

      • CV says:

        James, it could have been worse…..

        • Alan says:

          Indeed – stuck in that just now, mid-way through a connection from EDI! Thankfully in the Flounge rather than on a plane so not quite as bad as it could be.

          • CV says:

            My sympathies! Sounds like you will still be there to enjoy the 6 pm hot food service! I wonder what it will be, chilli con carne / thai curry / Singapore chicken (with very little chicken)

          • Alan says:

            Thankfully in the First Lounge so hot food and champagne available all day 😀

          • James67 says:

            It did get worse, now I got a bas stomach bug, food on plane or in air probqbly the culprit but it could have been anything.

  • callum says:

    A benefit of Iberia express is you can choose your seat for free. You can’t with Iberia – on my last flight I was put in the middle seat on the last row of the plane in the middle section and all airport staff refused to move me unless I paid.

    Thankfully the flight was half empty and a flight attendant came and told me I could move once onboard.

    • Tim says:

      On Iberia long haul redemptions certainly, you can choose seats free of charge at the time of booking. This has been my experience.

  • Jeff says:

    Very poor (in terms of Avios redemptions).

    Current BA route (EDI-LHR-MAD) is 15,000 Avios + RFS return

    New direct Iberia route 22500 Avios + £50 return.

    If two people were travelling, makes more sense to continue via T5, assuming longer travel time not an issue & lounges can be accessed.

    • Tim says:

      … and from Manchester to Madrid, easyJet will usually be cheaper than the Iberia Avios redemption taxes and has a more generous hand luggage policy.

    • pazza2000 says:

      Yes, the cash price may be nice from EDI though the Avios required will be more as was the case with BA’s EDI – IBZ over the summer; 20k vs 15k flying via LON.

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.