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

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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.

British Airways launches flights to Osaka

Here’s the press release:

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.”


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 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:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

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.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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 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.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

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.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year 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.

Comments (44)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • James says:

    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 ?

    • Genghis says:

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

    • Rob says:

      You’re going crazy.

      • James says:

        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.

  • 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?

    • James says:

      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?

      • Genghis says:

        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)

  • J says:

    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?

  • J says:

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

  • J says:

    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.

  • J says:

    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.)

  • Rebecca says:

    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!

  • Paul says:

    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.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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