Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Book Christmas in Australia and New Zealand for £1,480 with Air China business class

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

It’s Chinese New Year, and Air China has rolled out its Business Class deals again.  Many European destinations are included, but from Germany there are always some especially aggressive deals.

I’m not sure why Germany always gets the best offers but, year in and year out, it does.  I can’t see any deals from London yet, looking at the UK Air China site.

How cheap is cheap?

How about £1,480 in Australasia in Business Class – including over Christmas?

Here is a price matrix showing Frankfurt to Sydney over Christmas in Business Class as at 11am Wednesday (click to enlarge):

Air China Chinese New Year sale

Here is the full list of prices, departing Frankfurt, Munich or Dusseldorf in Business Class:

Around the €1,318 level (£1,150):

  • Bangkok
  • Hong Kong
  • Taipei
  • Phuket
  • Tokyo
  • Osaka
  • Seoul
  • Singapore
  • Ho Chi Minh City
  • Jakarta
  • Manila
  • Kuala Lumpur
  • Hanoi
  • Yangon
  • Busan
  • Fukuoka
  • Nagoya
  • Sendai
  • Hiroshima
  • Okinawa

Around the €1,717 level (£1,500):

  • Beijing
  • Shanghai
  • Wenzhou
  • Fuzhou
  • Hangzhou
  • Guangzhou
  • Xiamen
  • Chengdu
  • Shenzhen
  • Nanjing
  • Xi’an
  • Shenyang

Around the €1,687 level (£1,480):

  • Sydney
  • Melbourne
  • Auckland

You must book by Sunday 10th February although availability tends to disappear more quickly than that.

Outbound travel dates for the Business Class sale are:

  • 2nd April to 21st April
  • 28th May to 24th June
  • 28th June to 23rd August
  • 14th December to 31st December

You cannot return

  • during September (€1318 and €1687 list)
  • 1st July to 15th August and 25th September to 2nd October (€1717 list)

Air China is part of Star Alliance so you could (depending on which booking class the ticket books into) earn miles and status credit with Lufthansa Miles & More or one of the other Star programmes.  Use wheretocredit.com to find the most generous programme – you are probably looking for ‘R’ class earning which is typically 125% of miles flown.  

I know very little about Air China, so do some research on what planes are flying which route and what kind of seating if will offer.  A typical Air China business class is pictured below.

Air China business class

Some flights use brand new A350-900 aircraft with this impressive 1-2-1 layout:

Air China A350 business class

Last year reader Joel reviewed the Air China Boeing 777 business class service from Heathrow to Beijing for us – see here.

If you don’t have a credit card with 0% foreign exchange fees, your best option for paying is American Express Preferred Rewards Gold which offers triple points – 3 per £1 – when you book flight tickets in a foreign currency.  This is because the transaction triggers the ‘double points for airline spend’ and the ‘double points for foreign spend’ bonuses.  Our review of Amex Gold is here.

These deals end on Sunday 10th February.  The Air China Germany site, in English, is here.


how to earn avios from credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (July 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:

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 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 – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

We also 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

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 (32)

  • Lumma says:

    Do they use the 747 8 on any of these routes?

  • marcw says:

    You can get it cheaper, on some dates, particularly summer, from ZRH or GVA.

  • Bill says:

    Great story Rob

  • David says:

    Cheaper to fly to Sydney than Beijing – incredible!

    • marcw says:

      Makes sense! (fortunately or unfortunately). On EU-China, Air China doesn’t (need) to compete on price (they compete based on product). For other destinations, they need to compete on price.

    • Russ says:

      PEK is Air China’s hub and that’s what raises the price. Same with all airlines. Try and get flights which go a bit further than where you want to end up rather than finish at their main hub (two centre break???) . You can usually take a cheap feeder flight back to where you want to be. Same flying out. If you want to fly from an airlines hub without paying their premium start looking for flights with connections i.e. positioning flights to get you to the airlines hub rather than start at their hub. Can knock thousands off the price so worth the effort.

  • Dillo says:

    O/T but I guess Christmas-travel related?

    Called Virgin to use the 2-4-1 voucher on flights to Miami at Christmas along with three reward redemption seats. They said I can only use the voucher if I buy a cash ticket, not with a rewards redemption.

    Confused as it clearly says “companion reward ticket in Economy. Spend your miles for a reward booking in Economy and take one companion with you in the same cabin for no additional miles.”

    Anyone have any insight?

    • Gulz says:

      MBNA VA 2-4-1 can be used for cash bookings only. Virgin Money 2-4-1 can be used for cash as well as miles bookings.

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      Looks like a classic case where simply hanging up and redialing to talk to a different agent who understands the products better is probably the best course of action.

    • Alan says:

      Unfortunately, there seems to be a significant number of employees at the Virgin Call centre who don’t know an awful lot about their products. I have found that the online live chat staff seem to be more knowledgeable – YMMV.

    • Dillo says:

      Thanks all, will try again tonight.

  • New Card says:

    I heard the other day that I won a “stylish suitcase” in the Live Your Dream promo from Air China which I read about on here a few months ago, so thanks to whoever posted it. Let’s see how stylish it is!

  • TripRep says:

    Awesome price for Auckland for Xmas/NY travel

    Would have pulled the trigger on this, one to remember for future reference.

  • KxM says:

    Beware. I was booked on a similar fare from FRA to MEL via PVG. They cancelled the PVG MEL route and changed my flight to depart PEK rather than PVG. The trouble is that flight is now the day before my departure from Frankfurt. They have been really unhelpful. I’ve been very polite and asked if they could fly me from London (500 mile rule) as then I can still keep my plans intact. They have refused. They won’t let me have any alternative. Good fare, but awful service. Really, really poor service.

    • Skacel says:

      Are you saying the moved the second leg of your ticketed connecting flight to depart prior to the first leg? How is that possible?

    • Nick says:

      Who/what/where/why said there’s a ‘500-mile rule’? It’s their rules, their policy, if they don’t have one then you can’t make them. Particularly if by departing the UK you will make them liable to pay £160 tax on your behalf, that’s not really fair.

      BA has a voluntary ‘300km rule’. They choose to do this to be nice, not because they need to.

    • Lady London says:

      What is the 500 mile rule and when/where does it apply?

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.