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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 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 (37)

  • 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.

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