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.
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 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:
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.
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.
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.)