The two British Airways routes to South Africa are always very tricky if you want Avios availability, especially Cape Town and especially over the peak Winter tourist season.
The exciting news is that British Airways has announced a new route to Durban. It is not, at the time of writing, bookable via ba.com but I would expect the seats to appear during Wednesday.
There will be the standard two Avios seats available in Club World on all flights once booking opens, even for the peak Christmas and New Year dates. There will also be the four guaranteed World Traveller / Economy seats.
Whilst Cape Town is probably more attractive than Durban, there are plenty of connecting flights between the two cities – including FIVE flights each day on British Airways, operated by its South African franchise partner Comair. These can be booked on Avios although you cannot use a British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher.
Here are the details of the Durban service.
The first flight is 29th October
It will operate from Heathrow Terminal 5
It will use a Boeing 787-8 (so no First Class)
It will operate three days per week – outbound on Monday, Thursday, Saturday, returning on Tuesday, Friday, Sunday
Flight times are 15.45 outbound (arriving 05.35) and 07.35 inbound (arriving 17.45)
So, if you fancy a South African break this Winter but thought you had missed the boat over Avios availability, you luck is in. Keep an eye on ba.com and hopefully the flights will become bookable on Wednesday.
To maximise your miles when paying, your best bet is the British Airways American Express Premium Plus card which earns double Avios (3 per £1) when you book at ba.com or via BA Holidays. You do not get double Avios if you book with the free British Airways American Express card.
Another option is American Express Preferred Rewards Gold which offers double points – 2 per £1 – when you book flight tickets directly with an airline.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (October 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.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
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.
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.
EDIT: Applications for this card are temporarily suspended due to IT issues with the British Airways On Business SME loyalty scheme.
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.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.