Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Three new Avios redemptions are now bookable from Newcastle

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Iberia Express has launched three new routes to Spain from Newcastle. There’s only one catch – they are only operating for eight days over the New Year!

Madrid, Lanzarote and Gran Canaria will all be running over this period, presumably to attract those looking for a bit of winter sun.

The flights don’t seem to be targetted at those returning home for Christmas, as the start on Boxing Day and finish before Epiphany, when the Spanish traditionally open their gifts!

This is the ENTIRE schedule:

26th December

I2 3990 departs Madrid at 8:30am and arrives in Newcastle at 10:10am

I2 3997 departs Newcastle at 10:50am and arrives in Lanzarote at 15:25

27th December

I2 3990 departs Madrid at 8:30am and arrives in Newcastle at 10:10am

I2 3999 departs Newcastle at 10:50am and arrives in Gran Canaria at 15:35

2nd January

I2 3991 departs Newcastle at 17:35 and arrives in Madrid at 21:15

I2 3994 departs Lanzarote at 12:30 and arrives in Newcastle at 16:55

3rd January

I2 3991 departs Newcastle at 18:10 and arrives in Madrid at 21:50

I2 3998 departs Gran Canaria at 12:55 and arrives in Newcastle at 17:30

From Newcastle, that means you can fly direct to Gran Canaria for a week long stay for 27th December – 3rd January or Lanzarote for 26th December – 2nd January.

You could also fly to Madrid on the 2nd or 3rd January, although you would have to fly another airline back!

Iberia Express runs an all Airbus A320 fleet. You can see Rob’s review of business class on Iberia Express here.

What do Avios redemptions cost?

As these flights are operated by Iberia Express the Iberia redemption chart applies:

Iberia Avios reward flight prices (plus taxes, fees and carrier charges)
Zone Distance Discount Economy Economy Premium Economy Business Class
Offpeak Peak Offpeak Peak Offpeak Peak Offpeak Peak
1 1—650 miles 4,500 5,000 6,750 7,500 9,000 10,000
2 651—1,150 miles 7,500 8,250 11,250 12,500 15,000 16,500
3 1,150—2,000 miles 10,000 11,000 15,000 16,500 20,000 22,000
4 2001—3000 miles 11,000 12,500 16,000 18,750 21,250 31,250
5 3,001—4,000 miles 17,000 20,000 22,000 28,000 25,500 35,000 34,000 50,000
6 4,001—5,500 miles 21,250 25,000 27,750 35,000 31.750 43,750 42,500 62,500
7 5,501—6,500 miles 25,500 30,000 33,250 42,000 38,250 52,500 51,000 75,000
8 6,501—7,000 miles 29,750 35,000 38,750 49,000 44,250 61,250 59,500 87,500
9 7,001+ miles 42,500 50,000 55,250 70,000 63,750 87,500 85,000 125,000
Madrid-Barcelona Shuttle 4,500 4,500 9,000 9,000
Madrid-London 6,500 7,500 9,750 11,250 12,750 15,000

In theory you can also book these via, although I couldn’t find the same redemption availability as on Iberia Plus.

Both flights are just under 2,000 miles which mean they SHOULD fall into Zone 3. Somewhat cheekily, however, Iberia has decided that 1,993 miles is actually 2,000+ and put Gran Canaria in Zone 4.

All the flights fall on peak dates, which means you are looking at 22,000 Avios each way in business or 16,500 in economy. Gran Canaria, being in Zone 4, is 18,750 in economy and 31,250 in business.

To book, you need to move your Avios from British Airways Executive Club to Iberia Plus using the method we outline here. You MUST have an active Iberia Plus account which is over 90 days old to do this – ie one which has earned 1 Avios in the last three years (and so is ‘active’) and it over 90 days old. Your transfer will be rejected otherwise.

If you don’t have an Iberia Plus account, make it your mission to open and activate one ASAP so you don’t miss out on future Iberia redemption opportunities. You can activate it by moving 1,000 American Express Membership Rewards points into Iberia Plus, crediting a BA or oneworld flight, crediting a car rental, transferring some hotel points etc. It is then perfectly fine to move the points across to BA via ‘Combine My Avios’.

Get 30% off Iberia Express redemptions

In reality, a redemption on these flights should be cheaper than the numbers in the table above. This is because Iberia is currently offering 30% off Iberia Express redemptions as you can see here.

There are some blackout dates, including 3rd January, but a dummy booking for Lanzarote shows it is automatically applied.

The return trip is 23,100 Avios and £46.36 whilst the equivalent cash price (with a comparable luggage allowance) is €360. That means you are getting around 1.18p of value per Avios, which isn’t bad.


With just eight flights in total, these are, clearly, niche opportunities!

Nonetheless, if you’re eyeing up a break during the Christmas school holidays and live in the North East you may find these Iberia Express flights play to your advantage.

It’s probably best to book sooner rather than later as availability is already missing in some cabins on some flights – you can do so on the Iberia website here.

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (May 2024)

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 £15,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

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

40,000 bonus 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

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.

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 sign-up 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 (35)

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

  • Harry T says:

    No availability though!

  • Optimus Prime says:

    Let’s say UK decides to require a negative PCR test too. Would this mean if you wanted to go on a holiday to Spain you’d have to pay for two tests?

  • AndyC says:

    Sorry to pour cold water over all of this, but, given the oh-so-predictable UNpredictability of this government – with or (of course now) without Cummings – and its laws, rules and regulations, who at this stage can say whether these dates will even be viable for travel?!

  • Harry T says:

    Hopefully this is the sign of things to come, as I welcome any opportunity to burn Avios on a direct flight from Newcastle. God knows, the airport could do with some more investment and opportunities.

  • Anna says:

    What are the taxes/fees like on these routes given they are not RFS?

  • TeesTraveller says:

    I tweeted about this a few days ago. Gran Canaria is much poorer value on Avios than Lanzarote.

  • Anyone says:

    Iberia Express doesn’t operate an all A320 fleet, it also operates A321 and A321NEO aircraft. It might operate an all A320 family fleet, but that’s not the same as saying it operates an all A320 fleet. Details are important and not difficult to get right!

  • @mkcol says:

    Was it just me that the formatting of this article totally failed on email rendering it unreadable?

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

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