British Airways is returning to Abu Dhabi after a four year break.
Flights will operate year-round and start on 20th April 2024.
For the summer 2024 season it will be operated with a Boeing 787-9, which means the old Club World seat unless you get lucky. Only the 787-10 fleet came with Club Suite installed on delivery. It is implied that the aircraft type may change for the busier winter season although it currently shows a Boeing 787.
Even better, British Airways will be using the brand new Terminal A at Abu Dhabi, as seen in the latest Mission Impossible film. This is due to open to the public in two weeks after a bizarrely long construction period.
Whilst Abu Dhabi is well worth a holiday in its own right, it is also a surprisingly quick and cheap taxi ride to Dubai as the airport is on the Dubai side of the city. I have have done this many times, either due to cheaper fares or better Avios availability into Abu Dhabi vs Dubai, or because I managed to use Etihad Guest miles on Etihad.
There will be no change to the existing Dubai flight pattern, with up to three daily flights continuing.
Special cash deals are available
To promote the new route, British Airways is offering discounted fares for bookings made by 12th November 2023.
World Traveller fares will be offered from £449 whilst Club World will cost from £1,999. Amusingly, because there is no World Traveller Plus offer, Club World is cheaper on some dates.
The 12th November cut-off should mean that you could lock in a deal for October half term 2024, as you would be able to book for travel up to 2nd November 2024 by that point.
What is the service pattern?
Flights will operate daily.
The big problem is that the outbound flight is overnight. You will find yourself in Abu Dhabi in the early morning with a good chance of not having access to your hotel room for another seven hours.
The upside is that the return flight time is civilised.
Outbound flights depart Heathrow at 22.25, arriving in Abu Dhabi at 08.30 the next day.
The return flight leaves Abu Dhabi at 10.10, landing at Heathrow at 15.20.
Avios flights are now bookable
Flights are already bookable for cash or Avios.
Remember that there are four guaranteed Club World seats per flight available, plus two guaranteed World Traveller Plus seats and eight in World Travellers.
Club World pricing on a typical off peak date is:
- 160,000 Avios + £350
- 130,000 Avios + £640
- 100,000 Avios + £850
- 88,000 Avios + £1,240
- 64,000 Avios + £1,480
- 50,000 Avios + £1,790
Using a notional 1p per Avios valuation, the best value option would be 100,000 Avios + £850. However, if you are using a British Airways American Express 2-4-1 companion voucher, the first option is the best deal.
If you wanted to lock in a break for late September next year you can do so now. Tickets for later dates will open up at the usual 355 days before departure.
PS. The image at the top is the Emirates Palace hotel which is now run by Mandarin Oriental
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 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:
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. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) 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.
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.