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Hats off to IAG as Iberia returns to profit – and why you may be flying it more often

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A self-congratulatory page has appeared on the Iberia website celebrating the return to profit of the airline.  For once, I don’t blame them for running it. 

Some people hold the view that the acquisition of Iberia by British Airways in 2009 (although it took until 2011 for the deal to complete) was primarily an attempt by BA to get its hands on Iberia’s €1bn cash pile at a time when BA was not in the best of health.

Handing over 45% of the combined IAG to Iberia’s shareholders in return for a loss-making airline with, literally, a litany of ‘Spanish practices’ seemed – and still seems – generous to put it mildly.

Iberia A330 350

Let’s give IAG some credit.  Iberia has gone from losing €1m per day to being profitable.

Routes which were ditched as unprofitable have been reintroduced – I wrote about the new Cuba and Colombia services on Sunday.

Iberia’s new business class seat, which I flew in 2013, is fully flat and available on almost all the fleet

16 new long-haul aircraft – 8 x A330’s and 8 x A350’s – were ordered last year for delivery through to 2020

In June, August and October last year, Iberia was the most punctual airline in the world according to FlightStats with 91% of aircraft departing on time.  This is despite the massive job cuts that IAG managed to negotiate with the unions and which formed the basis of the turnaround.

They even have a modern logo at long last!

Iberia still has some way to go, of course.  In the first nine months of 2014, budget sister airline Vueling was almost as profitable – €140m vs €162m – despite being smaller, and British Airways made €607m.  You can see why, even now, giving Iberia 45% of the merged business was over the top.

New Iberia routes to Manchester and Edinburgh will be launched this year.  With Iberia redemptions now SUBSTANTIALLY better value than BA redemptions under the new Avios structure, we may all find ourselves spending more time in Madrid.

How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 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.

Until 18th July 2022 there is an astonishing special offer on these cards. You get 50,000 Avios on the Avios Plus Mastercard and 10,000 Avios on the free Avios Mastercard. You can apply here. We strongly recommend getting the Avios Plus card whilst this offer is running.

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

50,000 Avios for signing up (A CRAZY SPECIAL OFFER!) and an upgrade voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

10,000 Avios for signing up (SPECIAL OFFER) and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

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

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

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.

SPECIAL OFFER: The sign-up bonus on Amex Gold is increased from 20,000 Membership Rewards points to 30,000 Membership Rewards points until 19th July 2022. This card is free for the first year.

American Express Amex Gold

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel 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 10,000 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company 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 card

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.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits 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.

(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.)

Comments (10)

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

  • Peter says:

    If only their customer service were better I might well use them more. I’ve been chasing 3000 Avios owed me for car hire since October and they either do not reply to me or say they will look into it then never get back to me!

    I dread to think what they would be like if they lost my luggage on a flight!

    • DontLikeFruit says:

      Snap! I’m missing 3000 Avios from a Hertz rental last year. Have exhausted conventional attempts to resolve this – time for social media shaming!

      • Graham says:

        I had exactly the same problem last year (should have been triple IB Avios for a 3 day rental but was only credited with the base amount). I would suggest contacting Hertz rather than Iberia – I did and they resolved it for me!

        • Peter says:

          I tried that first. They said nothing to do with them and I had to contact Iberia. Pretty much given up now.

          • Graham says:


            Here’s what I did. I submitted a missing points request via Hertz – as expected I got an automated email back saying that I had been credited the (Avios) as per the Rental Ref No.

            I then checked my rental docket and sure enough, there was a PC (Promotional Code) entitling me to triple IB Avios on the booking. I then got back in touch with a person (@ Hertz) by email and they agreed with me and said it would be credited within 4-6 weeks and sure enough, it was.

          • peter says:

            Thank you for that. I’ll give it a go.

  • Henry C says:

    They seem to have taken it down now – I get a 404 error.

  • Rich says:

    I also get a 404. Looking ahead it should be more profitable for airlines all over with lower oil prices. Airlines in the US are setting themselves up for a bumper year. Should probably buy some shares!

  • Jeremy I says:

    Rob I love this category of articles where you provide analysis of the market and a slightly sideways look at the news.


  • Cambus says:

    I agree on the poor customer service. I finally got my Avios in January 2015 for a car rental in July 2014. My advice is persevere with them. Some emails went unanswered, but it paid off for me in the end. Problem is I can’t check I got the right number of Avios as they have dropped Hertz, and the rates are no longer on the website. It has made me wary of applying for their other deals like ‘The Economist’ one, if I ended up with a magazine subscription I didn’t especially want but no Avios.

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

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