Both Iberia and Finnair have made new long-haul route announcements in the last 24 hours.
All of these flights will be bookable with Avios and should offer low levels of taxes and charges. Whilst you can’t use a British Airways American Express companion voucher when redeeming Avios on Finnair or Iberia, it offers good value for solo travellers or those who want to save a voucher for another trip.
The downside, of course, is the requirement to travel via Madrid or Helsinki.
New Iberia long-haul routes to the US
Iberia is launching a new route from Madrid to Dallas in April.
There will be four weekly return flights. The rationale for the route is to feed into American Airlines which has a hub in Dallas.
Washington DC is (finally) launching too.
Iberia had this route lined up to launch in April 2020 but, you know …. There will be four flights per week.
US East Coast Avios redemptions are exceptional value with Iberia, with Madrid to Washington (plus New York, Boston etc) costing just 68,000 Avios return in Business Class off-peak. Taxes and charges are around £140. Peak dates require 100,000 Avios but this is still less than a British Airways service, to say nothing of the £400 taxes saving.
San Francisco is returning from April with three flights per week from Madrid.
Where is Iberia currently flying in North America?
If you are looking to travel before the end of March, Iberia is currently operating the following routes:
- New York (10 flights per week)
- Miami (10 flights per week)
- Chicago (5 flights per week)
- Boston (3 flights per week)
- Los Angeles (3 flights per week)
- San Juan, Puerto Rico (4 flights per week)
New Finnair long-haul routes to Asia
Finnair has its own new route plans for Summer 2022.
It is finally launching services to Busan in South Korea, a new route which was planned pre-covid and then put on hold.
It will also launch flights to Tokyo Haneda and Sapporo.
Finnair has a big presence in Japan – it is the biggest overseas market for the airline – and these two routes will take the number of airports served to six :
- Tokyo Narita (daily)
- Tokyo Haneda (daily)
- Osaka (daily, 2x daily from June)
- Nagoya (daily)
- Fukuoka (3 per week)
- Sapporo (2 per week)
Daily services to Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore and Bangkok, and twice-weekly services to Shanghai, will also operate.
Finnair is picking up the slack after BA dropped Helsinki
With Helsinki now purged from the British Airways network, Finnair is stepping up capacity.
There will be four daily flights between Heathrow and Helsinki. For cargo reasons, one will use an A350 and another will use an A330, offering flat beds in business class. The other two flights will use standard short-haul aircraft and are best avoided!
Finnair has recently cut the taxes and charges on redemption flights sharply as we showed in this article. Book a redemption in Business Class from Helsinki to Seoul on Avios, for example, and you only pay £30 in taxes and charges! The Japan routes are not as cheap, unfortunately, as Finnair’s hands are tied by the terms of its joint venture agreement with JAL. The latest Finnair business class seat on the A350 is pictured above.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (November 2021)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
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, such as:
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:
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.)