As you’re all presumably aware by now, British Airways will be flying to Malta from the end of March 2014. However, that is not really the point of this post. Rather, it’s to remind you that you can use Avios (BA frequent flyer points) to fly between the UK and Malta, on Air Malta flights.
The key point to note is that, to do this, you need to redeem via avios.com, not British Airways (you can easily transfer Avios between your BA account and an avios.com account).
Air Malta bookings between London and Malta on Avios.com will cost you 20,000 Avios economy return, plus around £57 (Heathrow) or £41 (Gatwick) in fees/taxes.
So what does this mean exactly?
Put simply, if you collect Avios (whether now, or after BA begin flying to Malta: a return to Malta with BA will earn you 2562 Avios) you can use them to book reward flights with Air Malta, as well as BA, between the UK and Malta.
Up to 30 March, if you want to use your Avios on flights between Malta and the UK, Air Malta is your only option. However, after 30 March, you can fly with either BA or Air Malta. BA flights are slightly cheaper (20,000 Avios economy return, plus £35 capped tax and fees), however, you should not rule out Air Malta as an alternative:
- Air Malta Avios reward flights are available to Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester. BA fly just to Gatwick.
- The BA timetable may well be less convenient for you than that of Air Malta (BA flights land in Gatwick at 22:50).
- You may simply prefer Air Malta, or benefit from status perks with them.
So, if you are an Avios collector and are considering a redemption flight between the UK and Malta, or you plan to collect Avios when BA returns to the Maltese market in March this year, do not rule out redeeming them with Air Malta.