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Iberia launches low-tax Avios redemptions to Tokyo and Shanghai

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Following the recent announcement of its new service to Johannesburg, starting in August, Iberia has revealed some more big news.

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

It will depart on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, using a brand new Airbus A330 with a two class configuration.

Iberia A330 350

The 13.20 departure time means that it is possible to make a same day connection from the UK.

I tried to get some typical tax numbers for Iberia flights yesterday.  However, this is Iberia we’re talking about and the only response I could get when selecting Narita flights (which are loaded in the system) was:

An error has occurred. We apologize for the inconvenience and ask you to please try again after a few minutes. If the error persists please contact us.

You should expect the tax in Business Class to be under €200 return and no more than €175 in Economy.   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 Tokyo on BA will set you back £531 of taxes and charges – although, with Iberia, you need to factor in the cost of getting to Madrid.

One downside ….

The new Iberia A330-200 aircraft, whilst brand new, are not ‘Avios friendly’ if you are looking for Business Class redemptions.

With only 19 business class seats, availability will be tight.  Iberia is still be releasing a minimum of two business class seats per flight however – they are already showing.

And Shanghai too ….

Iberia has also announced a new route to Shanghai, also to be flown with a brand new A330-200.

The airline has yet to receive the necessary permissions for the flight so it is not releasing any timetable information, except to say that flights will begin in the Winter.  I’ll let you know when I hear something.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (March 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.

SPECIAL OFFER: Successfully apply for either of the Barclaycard Avios credit cards by 2nd April 2023 and you will be entered into a free draw to win ONE MILLION AVIOS! Full details are on the application forms here (free) and here (paid). This competition is exclusive to Head for Points readers. T&C apply.

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

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

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up 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 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.

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

30,000 points and unbeatable 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 10,500 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.

Until 30th March 2023, the sign up bonus on American Express Business Platinum is increased to 120,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. The bonus on American Express Business Gold is increased to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. T&C apply, see the application forms for details.

American Express Business Platinum

Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 30th March) and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

60,000 points sign-up bonus (to 30th March) 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 (37)

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

  • Richmond says:

    Looks like fares to NRT were loaded yesterday and generated either error fare or very cheap tickets. Tax on economy is showing as 78 euro RT.

    • Rob says:

      I like the sound of €78!

      It’s just too far for me to do it for a HFP review, although I’d love to do the new Iberia planes. It is one thing to pop down to the Middle East on a 6 hour flight with 3 hours time difference and stay 2 nights, but going to Tokyo via Madrid would not go down well with my wife!

  • Mr blue says:

    Thanks for the heads up on this Rob. According to Google flights they operate on Tues, Fri & Sun. From 18th Oct.

  • Mr blue says:

    87500 in business and 52500 in eco EW. I was told by the awfully rude IB cs agent that there is no off peak pricing on this route. Pfft. I for one won’t be spending my avios or £££ with them regardless of how cheap this is! Appauling CS.

    • Rob says:

      That can’t be right, they can’t start pulling their off-peak calendar for particular routes!

      • Jon Dear says:

        Taxes are slightly more than expected:
        ECO BLUE – 64,750 Avios + €247.35 (RT)
        ECO 97,150 Avios + €247.35 (RT)
        Business is still showing an ERROR.

  • jonnyfive says:

    Ok IB Business class avios seats are now loading as of this morning, albeit at a ridiculous rate:
    PEAK 210,000 Avios + 187.21 € dec11-14
    OFF PEAK 170,000 Avios + 187.21 €

    For comparison: BA Business is 150k avios from the UK, OK the taxes are around £500 with BA but but when you factor in extra 20K avios and positioning flights works out roughly the same money wise.= no connections /wasting time in MAD.

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

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