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Iberia launches Johannesburg for low tax South Africa redemptions

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For anyone bemoaning the lack of Avios availability on British Airways flights to South Africa, there is some good news.

Iberia has announced a new ‘three flights per week’ service from Madrid to Johannesburg from August 2016.

It will depart on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays, using a new Airbus A330-300 with a two class configuration.

Iberia A330 350

The 23.45 departure time is convenient if you are travelling down from London after work, with the return landing into Madrid at 6.35am – meaning you still have a chance of getting back to your desk in London before lunch.

A return flight in Business Class is a bargain 85,000 Avios plus just €182 (£132) of tax.  Economy (blue class, ie Iberia’s cheaper redemption bucket) is 42,500 Avios plus €162.  This is off-peak pricing, which covers most of the last third of the calendar year under the Iberia Plus scheme (you can see the Iberia peak and off-peak calendar here).

You MUST book through Iberia Plus to get this pricing.  If you book via you will get a large fuel surcharge added to your ticket.  As long as your Iberia Plus account is 90 days old and has earned 1 Avios point (a transfer from Amex Membership Rewards would do it) you can use ‘Combine My Avios’ on to send them across for free.

To put this in context, a flight from London to Johannesburg on BA using Avios on an off-peak date will cost you a whopping 125,000 Avios + £523 – although, with Iberia, you need to factor in the cost of getting to Madrid.

Iberia availability is also very good – the standard two business class flights per seat are there – so you may be able to find seats for dates in early Autumn 2016 where British Airways is currently sold out.

Once in South Africa, you can book connecting flights around the region, including down to Cape Town, using Avios points on Comair, a British Airways franchise partner.

how to earn avios from credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 2021)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

There are two official British Airways American Express cards:

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

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

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 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

We also recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company 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 (21)

  • JamesW says:

    I can’t seem to find any of these MAD-JNB business class redemption seats in August using the KVS tool. Finds plenty of IB MAD-LHR, BA LHR-JNB but when I stipulate IB flights only it doesn’t find anything.

  • JamesW says:

    GGggrrrr……… Was hoping to get August flights but August is Iberia peak pricing 🙁 Pesky tourists and breeders with school age brats pushing prices up ! 🙂

  • Ian says:

    I have a question for the experts out here 🙂 I was checking to redeem an open jaw: LHR – JNB – NBO – LHR. I was going in Business to JNB and retuning in Economy from NBO.

    I’ve checked online and the price, using the BA voucher, would come at around £900+, but then I called BA, because we can’t book open jaw online, right. I was, then, quoted £1365.

    Is this normal? Has anyone had a similar experience or could explain me why the taxes are different from what I’ve seen online?


  • Phil says:

    Any idea why this is pricing up at 105,000 avios return on Iberia website?

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