I’m using Etihad Airways to get to the Maldives next fall, but if your bucket of miles are with a Star Alliance carrier, your only option for flying directly out of the Maldives (MLE) is Singapore Airlines to Singapore. Singapore runs two daily flights:
- SQ461, MLE-SIN, departs at 3:00PM, lands at 10:50PM
- SQ451, MLE-SIN, departs at 11:25PM, lands at 7:15AM
So basically you can leave in the afternoon and get in late or you can take a redeye. Singapore AIrlines uses a 2-cabin A330-300 for this route.
Unfortunately, availability on this route is typically ABYSMAL. Singapore pretty much never opens up any award space far in advance, and when they do, it’s usually only one seat. Sometimes that seat is in Business Class, but it’s usually in Economy Class. That make it difficult for people like me trying to plan honeymoons. Your best bet is usually to pay for a cheap flight from MLE to CMB (Colombo, Sri Lanka), where there is decent award availability and book your trip from there. However, as of a few days ago, Continental.com is showing LOTS of award inventory for tickets on the MLE-SIN route.
I did a search for two award tickets in October of next year, and the Continental.com availability calendar shows the following:
Now according to the legend, yellow means only Economy availability. But if you look at the actual results that turn up, you get the following:
Wow! 2 seats available in your cabin of choice! It’s interesting that only the earlier flight shows availability. If you’re traveling solo, the calendar looks more like the one below:
There are even more flights available (note that the calendar above is August / September, not October like the previous search)!
If you’re traveling solo, the later flight opens up as well.
Anyhow, I’ve never seen availability like this from the Maldives open up en masse. I’m not sure if Singapore Airlines made a mistake in releasing this much inventory or if this is just the new amount of award inventory that they’ll be releasing. Either way, it’s probably worth jumping on. I was planning on buying a cheap Air India flight from MLE to BLR, and then flying out of BLR with an award ticket, but now I booked a ticket out of MLE just in case.
Update: For those who were curious, my booking was ticketed and confirmed. Unless I cancel, looks like I’m flying directly out of the Maldives…