Iberia this week announced the launch of a new route between Madrid and Washington DC which is great news for Avios redemptions across the Atlantic, as well as regular Oneworld transatlantic joint venture fares. The flights will operate up to 5 times per week starting from May 2020 in Airbus A330-300s with 29 Business Class seats, 21 in Premium Economy and 242 in Economy class.
The timings are:
- IB6131 departing Madrid 15:50hr, arriving Washington DC at 18:55hr.
- IB6132 departing Washington DC 20:30hr, arriving 10:15hr+1.
All business class passengers would also be able to use the recently-refurbished Velazquez lounge (pictured above) in Terminal 4S which I reviewed this year.
Why is this significant?
Iberia collects a much reduced fuel surcharge than British Airways when redeeming Avios on their own metal. Combined this with Iberia having their own Award Chart compared to the standard Avios chart. The catch is you have to book on Iberia's own website and not via British Airways. As it's possible to transfer your Avios freely between BA and Iberia this is hardly an issue at all,
At just over 3800 miles, Madrid to Washington DC hits the so-called sweet spot of Avios redemptions, meaning you can redeem on Iberia's business class for just 68,000 Avios during off-peak, 100,000 Avios for peak, plus just €184 / £158.
This is a huge price difference compared to British Airways' £385 asking price for the same flights. A full £227 more!