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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.

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

Iberia A330 350

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.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

Comments (37)

  • AndyR says:

    Great news. Do you know how many Avios it will be?

    • Sebastian says:

      Yeah, I was thinking the same!

    • Will Zhu says:

      I did a search on GCMAP, MAD-TYO is over 6700 miles.

    • Rob says:

      No. As Iberia does not aways strictly work by their own award chart I felt it best to wait to see what the website throws up rather than saying something which turns out to be wrong.

  • rich says:

    Can do both in one trip. Using jal avios redemption between the 2, . Also you qualify for the 72h free visa in china if you go in from one country and out to another

  • DS says:

    JAL Helsinki-Tokyo Narita is 75000 Avios + £14

    • DS says:

      …in Business

      • KC says:

        What are the indicative dates, and how do I book JAL using avios? Went to their site and couldn’t figure it out

        • Calchas says:

          To use Avios you need to go to Iberia or BA’s websites. The JAL flights will show up there.

          • ankomonkey says:

            I see them on at 75000 avios one way. On I’ve tried several dates and JAL options never seem to appear, even though I’m using dates that have JAL availability on

            DS – where you referring to a one-way redemption costing 75000 avios? On or

          • DS says:

            BA with Iberia you can’t book JAL online

          • dp says:

            DS, what dates? I can’t see any…

    • Mr blue says:

      87,500 business and 52,500 eco. Told no off peak price on this route by the rude IB cs agent. Shocking phone manner. Puh. They ain’t getting my avios or £££.

  • xalx says:

    When I saw the email I was selfishly hoping it was the long awaited return of the San Juan route, ideal for cruises around the Caribbean.

    Iberia Band 7 is now the highest band from 5501miles = 75000 Avios peak or 51000 off peak oneway business

  • David says:

    Very O/T but does anyone know if Amex Sterling Travellers Cheques can be paid into a Halifax / Santander Current Account?

    • Chris says:

      Traditionally I’ve always dropped mine into my Santander account and never once had a problem with it. Haven’t tried for maybe 15 months or so though

    • YL says:

      Halifax works for me, but it has been 6 months since my last deposit.

    • Sebastian says:

      Does this mean that you can buy Amex TC’s on your Amex then pay them into your account?

      • Rob says:

        Yes, if your bank takes them – which is getting rarer!

        • Fenny says:

          Do they expire? I have some somewhere from a trip to the US in 1997. I keep finding them and putting them in a safe place until I can work out what to do with them!

  • Jane jones says:

    Hi not sure if I am on the right page for this?

    Can you use avios to fly Qatar or Emirates?

    Totally fed up with BA after a 26 1/2 hour delay that lasted two days.


    • Genghis says:

      Hi Jane,

      Avios can be used on Qatar but not Emirates. They can also be used on other airlines – E.g. Iberia, JAL, LAN etc – depending on where you’re going.

    • richard says:

      I’m not sure how many flight you have taken , but if that was your first BA experience, you were very unlucky.- I can assure you, that it doesn’t always happen.
      Also some good news is, under EU rule 261/2004 you are often entitled to between £100 and £460 in compensation. depending on the length of flight.

    • Lady London says:

      Hi Jane, not sure if you are aware but you also might want to google EU261 on that one.

  • Leo says:

    A bit OT: do you earn Tier points on Iberia Express if the flight has a BA code?

  • Tom says:

    I noticed that Iberia are going to be flying a new route from Malta to Madrid. A touch odd as they will be competing with Vueling, their sister company.