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Time running out to redeem Avios on Air Malta and Aurigny

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Avios (as in avios.com and not British Airways Executive Club) is, very quietly, winding down its redemption partnerships with non-oneworld or IAG airlines.

What is happening?

When the Avios scheme was launched in late 2011, avios.com brought in a range of new airline partners alongside BA and Iberia.  These were Air Malta, Aurigny (the Channel Islands airline) and Monarch.

These redemptions are with avios.com, not British Airways Executive Club.  To book them, you need to open an avios.com account and use the ‘Combine My Avios‘ function to move Avios from BAEC into avios.com.  There is no charge to move your Avios and you can reverse the transaction if required.

These partnerships are now being wound down.  Monarch has already gone – the last day to book a redemption with them was 4th January.

Aurigny – ending 1st April 2017

Aurigny flies to various Channel Islands destinations from Gatwick, London City, Bristol, Southampton, East Midlands, Stansted and Manchester.  You can see a full list of routes by visiting their website and clicking on ‘Timetable’.

Availability from Gatwick is good.  When I checked in January for a random midweek date in June 2017, there were six departures to Guernsey available (economy seats only) and a return ticket would cost you 9,000 Avios plus £35 in tax.

These are OK deals.  A typical cash ticket for the dates I checked was £99 return.  That is around 0.72p per Avios of value.

Air Malta – ending 1st April 2017

The Air Malta partnership will also end on 1st April.  Tickets booked before that date will remain valid and can still be cancelled if necessary.

This was always a bit of an odd partnership.  When it was launched, BA did not fly to Malta and so it filled a gap in what was presumably seen as a core target market for Avios customers.  British Airways launched its own flights to Malta a couple of years ago which meant that this partnership became less valuable.

As with all of these partner airlines, you can seach for Air Malta flights using the standard avios.com reward booking site. If there is availability, it will show up but only in Economy.

Seats have historically been available on the scheduled routes from Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester to Malta.  You do not tend to see redemptions offered on some of the Summer seasonal routes from smaller UK airports.

Economy flights from Gatwick cost 20,000 Avios return plus £55 of tax.  Business class is not available.  This is poor value compared to the British Airways flights which, on off peak dates, require 17,000 Avios return plus £35 of tax.

Conclusion

There is currently a lot of ‘tidying up’ being done at Avios.  We have seen various redemption options dropped (see this article) including theme park tickets, sporting holidays, Eurostar tickets and the ability to earn and redeem Avios on package holiday bookings.  We now have the loss of three airline partnerships.

This is all in preparation for the full merger of the various schemes on the avios.com platform.  In order to do this, Avios needs to drop partnerships which would conflict with these airline partners.  Eurostar conflicts with BA and I doubt BA would want Executive Club members to be able to redeem for it directly.  Earning and spending Avios on package holidays conflicts with BA Holidays.  Redeeming on Monarch, Air Malta and Aurigny conflicts, on some routes, with British Airways.

At some point we should start to see benefits from this move.  Royal Air Maroc, for example, is adopting Avios as its currency which should bring extra reward availability to Morocco and, via connections, into parts of Africa not served by British Airways.

In the short term, though, redemption options will get worse before they get better.  This is especially bad news for flyers outside London who will see a sharp drop in the number of flights on which they can redeem their Avios points.

Remember to book your Aurigny or Air Malta redemptions in the next couple of weeks if you’re interested.


British Airways BA Amex American Express

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 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. Both have increased sign-up bonuses until 2nd November 2021:

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

10,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 241 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

40,000 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 – 30,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

The 30,000 points bonus on Amex Gold runs to 9th November 2021. The 60,000 points bonus on The Platinum Card runs to 2nd November 2021.

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:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company 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. This card has a limited time offer of 60,000 Avios when you sign up:

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

60,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios 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 (7)

  • Nigel says:

    Has anybody had their avios from the recent Economist subscription offer credited to their avios.com account yet?

    • Kathy says:

      No. I contacted Economist customer services to chase, and they said my gift had been ordered and to get back in touch if it hadn’t arrived in 6-8 weeks!

  • Steve R says:

    Avios with Monarch was good for us whose, nearest Airport is Manchester hey ho. Last trip this Easter with them. It was good value

  • RussellH says:

    > When the Avios scheme was launched in late 2011, avios.com brought in a range of new airline
    > partners alongside BA and Iberia. These were Air Malta, Aurigny and Monarch.

    There was a short period before that when you could use Airmiles on a fairly large number of airlines.

    I flew LHR-MUC on Lufthansa in May 2008 using Airmiles.

  • Cate says:

    I’ve always thought the spa treatment on board Air Malta was an interesting development Anyone tried it?

  • pr99 says:

    Aurigny had been an Airmiles partner that started when BA dropped Guernsey as a destination in 2007 or 2008, of course now flybe is a major partner and also flies that route. Air Malta has been a partner before avios was launched. Monarch flights were available through redemption with Cosmos long before avios launched and was introduced as redemption flight before avios was launched as well.

    I wonder if this is just bringing everything into a single offering.

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