Qatar Airways is restarting flights to both Dubai and Abu Dhabi later this month following the thaw in relations because Qatar and much of the rest of the Middle East.
This is excellent news for Avios redemptions, as Qatar Airways is a British Airways partner in the oneworld alliance.
- If you live outside London, you could now fly from a regional airport to Doha on Qatar Airways and then on to Dubai or Abu Dhabi
- If you want to save on Avios and taxes (and have lots of time) you could position to Germany – or another country within 3000 miles of Doha – and take advantage of cheaper Avios rates for the long haul leg
Here is a screenshot from ba.com showing typical flights. The schedule will build up from the current two per day:
How much will Qatar Airways redemptions cost?
There is a small snag.
(The big snag is that you can’t use a British Airways American Express 2-4-1 companion voucher on Qatar Airways. There is a small snag too though.)
Here is the Avios redemption chart for partner airlines like Qatar Airways:
|Reward flight prices on BA partner airlines (plus taxes, fees and carrier charges)|
|Zone||Distance||Economy||Premium Economy||Business Class||First Class|
|* zone 1 does not apply to internal flights in North America|
London to Doha is 3,200 miles, so a Business Class redemption is 61,000 Avios each way.
Doha to Dubai is 110 miles, so if you slum it in Economy for a few minutes it will cost you 6,000 Avios each way.
This means a total of 67,000 Avios each way.
What would British Airways cost?
A one-way flight from London to Dubai on BA is 50,000 Avios on an off-peak date and 60,000 Avios on a peak date.
Note that partner airline redemptions do not have off-peak dates.
This means that the Qatar Airways option is noticeably more expensive if you are flying on a BA off-peak date, but there isn’t much in it on a peak date.
What if you fly from Frankfurt or similar?
Frankfurt to Doha is 2,800 miles, so a Business Class redemption is just 38,750 Avios each way.
Doha to Dubai is 110 miles, so the Economy connection will cost you 6,000 Avios each way.
This means a total of 44,750 Avios each way.
This means SUBSTANTIAL savings over using British Airways on a peak date and a modest saving over using British Airways on an off-peak date. Of course, you need to get to Frankfurt or somewhere else in that part of Europe to start your flight ……
Taxes are roughly similar whichever route you choose, although I couldn’t get ba.com to price up Frankurt – Doha – Dubai last night.
Qatar Airways is not British Airways ….
As we have reviewed numerous time, the Qatar Airways Qsuite is head and shoulders above British Airways Club World. You can find our Qsuite reviews on the HfP flight reviews page here.
BA’s new Club Suite (here is our Club Suite guide) is a massive step forward. Qatar Airways still has the edge, especially with food and service, but it is less clear cut.
With British Airways recently announcing that it was dropping Abu Dhabi for good, and Dubai availability being tricky to find at peak times, the return of Qatar Airways to Dubai and Abu Dhabi is a good result for Avios collectors.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 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.
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.
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.