British Airways new route to Osaka is now official – redemptions bookable

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(EDIT: 9.45am, these flights are now bookable for cash and Avios)

British Airways put out a press release on Tuesday confirming what we wrote about on Monday – that flights to Osaka are about to be launched.

As of 8.45am on Tuesday flights were not bookable.  They should appear during Tuesday so keep an eye out if you want to snag a redemption, especially for the 2019 cherry blossom season in late March and very early April.  Remember that outbound flights will only operate on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, returning a day later.  The aircraft is a 787-8 – these are not the ones with the dodgy engines!

The airport code is KIX for people who like to search that way!

Here’s the press release:

British Airways launches flights to Osaka

British Airways customers are set to soak up Osaka next summer as the airline is launching direct flights to Japan’s second largest city. The four-per-week service takes off from March 31, 2019 with flights departing from Heathrow Terminal 5 and landing into Osaka’s Kansai International Airport.

The new route takes the number of daily flights between London and Japan offered as part of British Airways’ joint business with Japan Airlines up to 32 per week.

Japanese tourism is set to grow from 24 million annual visitors in 2016 to 40 million in 2020. Osaka was recently named as the third most liveable city in the world and is considered to be the food capital of Japan.

Japan Airlines will also offer a code share on the new service, further strengthening the joint business and giving customers more opportunities to earn and redeem Avios loyalty points across the network.

Sean Doyle, British Airways’ Director of Network and Alliances, said: “Our partners Japan Airlines and Finnair have demonstrated that Osaka is a hugely popular route with leisure and business travellers alike, so we are excited to launch direct flights from London, giving customers another gateway. Japan is a highly sought-after destination for British tourists and many of the country’s key attractions are within easy reach of Osaka. This new route will also open up more opportunities for companies to explore and build business in the region so we’re expecting this new service to be well received by our customers.”

Hideki Oshima, Japan Airlines’ Executive Officer International Relations and Alliances, said “We are extremely excited with the announcement of British Airways’ new route. Not only does it provide more choices and greater convenience for our passengers traveling between Japan and Europe, but it is also great news for the Kansai region. We look forward to serving our mutual customers through our codeshare service and contributing to the regional economy in Osaka.”

The route will be operated by one of British Airways’ newest aircraft, the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, with special return fares from £599 in World Traveller, £999 in World Traveller Plus and £2499 in Club World available to book from today on and

British Airways is also adding four cities to its joint business agreement with Japan Airlines, with the BA code being put on flights between Tokyo Haneda and Miyazaki, Kumamoto, Komatsu and Matsuyama. 

British Airways will launch 17 new routes across the globe this year including direct flights to Durban that start next month. These new routes come as the airline rolls out a £4.5 billion investment plan for customers over the next five years, which includes the installation of the best quality WiFi and power in every seat, fitting 128 long-haul aircraft with new interiors and taking delivery of 72 new aircraft.”

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  1. IndiaCharliePapa says:

    I have currently got a 241 redemption booked next year F to PVG, but booked the return to MAD from TYO (biz) using my Iberia bonus points (119k for 2pax). Is it worth cancelling that to take the BA from KIX using the 241 (90k points peak)? I live in Mallorca so need a connection from LON/MAD anyway to get home. How does the CW 787 compare to Iberia’s 330? Also how movable are points from IB – BAEC at the moment? Thanks for the advice

    • I would be tempted to stick with it if you’re using your IB bonus points, because you are removing any risk of problems with IB for not spending the bonus.

      • IndiaCharliePapa says:

        Thanks Rob – i was considering a trip to NYC which I could book with them, but i may be giving myself unnecessary hassle.

  2. Are they really not the ones with engine trouble? G-ZBJE hasn’t been seen for months…

    • There are some 787-8 issues emerging but nothing as widespread as the Rolls-Royce 789 problem.

    • G-ZBJE is in storage.

      BA’s 787-8s are fitted with Trent 1000 Package B engines wheras the 787-9s are fitted with Package C engines.
      It is the Pack-C engines that have been the source of the well publicised problems. The Pack-B remains largely ok. High cycle Pack-B engines are subject to a one off inspection but nothing like what’s involved with the Pack-C inspections.

      That said, ANA did suffer some disruption with their 787s as a result of the Pack-B inspections, but that has largely resolved now… Also the shorter island hops their 787s do make the issue more prominent…

  3. BrotherBear says:

    Do we know what all the 17 new routes are yet?

  4. Flights and redemptions loaded.

  5. I think, THINK, I know the answer but just to be clear – ref. the 241 voucher – is it possible to get BA to book tickets > 355 days if one calls them direct (I know this isn’t possible online)? I have assumed not given previous discussions on this forum but when putting in various routes/options for Japan next Sept/Oct (of which the addition of Osaka is most welcome!) there is line that suggest’s that if I wish to book further out than is possible, to ring them direct…unsure if this is just an error on the page.

  6. OT – I see Istanbul’s new airport is scheduled to open at end October.

    Does anyone know if the new Turkish business lounge will be as spectacular as the lounge in the old IST airport? (and yes, I know opinions vary about the old lounge)
    I was thinking of adjusting my schedule to fit in a TK business flight just to see how good their lounge really is, but there is not much point if the new lounge is still being fitted out or has been cut back.

    • ankomonkey says:

      From what I’ve read, the new TK lounge at the new airport is still under construction. You would expect them to try to equal what they have at Ataturk now, but who knows?

      I loved their current lounge when I visited. Preferred it to the VS LHR Clubhouse, but that may just because I love Turkish food.

  7. OT OK ignore my previous question about IST – a quick check on the Flyertalk forum indicates that the opening will be heavily delayed . . . .

    • The airport is handling cargo at the moment. More likely that BA etc move first as they are point to point and then Turkish moves in one chunk later, as they are reliant on connections given the number of transit passengers.

      I have a TK flight booked for late January as I wanted to check it out. May have been a mistake.

  8. …’spending £4.5 billion on fines due to cost cutting and general incompetence’.

  9. OT: Amex Points. Am I going crazy or did I read somewhere recently that you can now transfer Amex MR points between different peoples’ accounts ?

    So from one of my parents to me as actual Amex MR points ?

    • No. I think they’ve even done away with the bit in the T&Cs on account closing

    • You’re going crazy.

      • Cheers Rob 🙂
        That is not a surprise !
        Banging my head against a brick wall trying to get Garuda to honour the stopovers we had in each direction on a reroute due to their cancelling of the LHR-CGK service, so that could be what’s done it !!
        Want the stopover each way to break up the flights as have bad back & travelling with 70yr+ parents. Even thought its in business cabin we still need it 🙁

        Never mind, the battle continues.

  10. sinewavves says:

    Fair way OT: Hey guys, anyone know how to transfer avios to my wife? We are in a household account together on BA. I want to transfer some avios from my BA to her Iberia to top off a redemption. Can it be done?

    • Rob addresses this in his excellent university article series. This might change soon though due to the disappearance of accounts.

      Using ‘Combine My Avios‘ with a family account

      This is the issue which tends to confuse people. Here are the T&C’s:

      “Members of a Household Account under the Programmes may not use CMA other than (a) from a British Airways Executive Club Household Account to an individual account under the Avios Programme or the Iberia Plus Programme and (b) from the individual account under the Avios Programme to a Household Account under the British Airways Executive Programme. Any other Household account transaction will not be permitted under CMA.”

      What this means in English is:

      A member of a BA household account CAN move Avios to or from their Iberia or account (as long as the account is not a household one)

      A member of an household account CANNOT move Avios to or from BA or Iberia

      Note that you cannot move from Iberia to a BA household account. This is easily circumvented, though, by moving your Avios from Iberia to and then from to BA.

      • sinewavves says:

        Thanks for the reply, but still not sure if that means I can transfer avios from my BA account to her Iberia? I get I can do it to mine. Any idea? Thanks again

    • Shoestring says:

      Can’t be done the way you ask. Different ways to achieve the same thing, more or less. Do you absolutely need to redeem on IB? Maybe send all the points to BAEC HHA & redeem there (incl on IB). Or if it has to be IB portal, buy the points or try sending your Amex MR points to IB, if you share the same surname & match other details, might be achievable. Or buy the points. There were cheap Groupon IB Avios for sale recently, might still be on. Or transfer her own MR points to IB, maybe she can refer you or you her to earn points you need. Pretty easy to do most of the above if you have the luxury of time. How many points does she need?

      • sinewavves says:

        Thanks! Only need about 20K points over to her account. Transferring all over to BA is tempting but they are the bonus ones from the 9000 per flight deal so bit risky…

        • Shoestring says:

          If you’ve got enough time & I’m in the same boat maybe: deadline 1st December, it only takes a few weeks to generate 20K MR points in her name, her referring you would be easiest, from Plat – what Amex card/s does she have?

      • If you still have your avios accts, still possible to create a HHA and then disband?

        • Shoestring says:

          Or send your BAEC Avios to new HHA (Aer Lingus) & disband that, if it’s the same rules as ‘old’, she can take as many points as she needs from the total & send them to IB (you decide on the % share when you disband)

  11. Off-topic, a beginner question on BA status. If I were to book paid flights for my me, my wife and my child, would tier points for the 3 tickets be allocated to me, as the paying customer, or would I only get 1 lot?

  12. Further to the above, I meant to say if I book the 3 tickets separately.

  13. I don’t think that’s fair. If I work like a beast and then stump up all the cash for a holiday, I should be allowed to be selfish and take all the points. I travel more than them, so it’s less desirable and useful for them to have status, especially the toddler.

  14. Thanks for sharing your knowledge though. Got another amateur question for you if I may?

    Does anybody know a way to see a simple list of routes that Singapore Airlines flies? I’ve tried searching for over ten minutes, but am drawing a blank. Their website is so slow and buggy, that I gave up trying manually using their book a flight feature. (I’m trying to see what routes are possible, to hopefully come up with a realistic way of activating & being able to complete their 3 flight challenge to reach Star Alliance Gold.)

  15. Will there be a First Class cabin on this route? I’ve been saving up our 241 redemption voucher for a first class flight to Asia and Osaka is somewhere I’ve been wanting to go for a while so hopefully this all pans out!

  16. Pedantic perhaps but KIX is not a new route. At one stage BA operated to NRT,NGO,KIX and FUK. This was back in the early 90’s when they were a global player and world leading airline. They also operated to SEL,TPE,MNL and CGK. I don’t understand the lack of an F cabin but then I don’t get much of what they do now.

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