According to reports in the Japanese business newspaper Nikkei (which is a credible source, it now owns the Financial Times), British Airways is about to announce a 4x weekly service to Osaka.
This would be a good result if true. Tokyo is generally a decent route for Avios availability but you will struggle during the peak cherry blossom season. There are currently no Avios Club World seats available between 23rd February and 3rd April for example.
Osaka is very convenient for Kyoto. If you were only planning a short trip to Japan, taking in Tokyo and Kyoto, flying through Osaka would not be too bad. The best option would be to fly into Tokyo and out of Osaka after visiting Kyoto.
(Here is my Conrad Tokyo review, here is Anika’s ANA InterContinental Tokyo review and here is my The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto – which is amazing – review.)
Nikkei reports that services are due to start with the global Summer timetable change, which is 31st March.
If true, getting an Avios seat during the first few days should let you catch the cherry blossom. The season usually runs from the last week of March into the first week of April.
That said … it varies. Nature is awkward like that. We took a family holiday in Tokyo over Easter last year and caught it perfectly. Cherry blossom season was running late (we flew on 8th April) and were told all the hotels had been sold out two weeks before, with nothing to see. We got very lucky.
The photo above is one that Anika took when she was also in Tokyo last year doing our review of ANA business class – she flew in on 6th April.
Anyway …. nothing is confirmed yet. I’ll let you know if / when a BA press release turns up. The Nikkei article is here.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 2022)
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.
EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.
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 10,000 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.
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.