The expansion kicked off on December 8, when flight LH 514 departed Frankfurt for Cancún. This was followed on Wednesday, December 9 with flight LH 704 to Malé. The week was rounded off on December 10 with flight LH 708 to Mauritius.
These are operated twice-weekly with a high density aircraft. Lufthansa’s Airbus A340-300s are densely configured with only 18 business class and 19 premium economy seats to make room for 261 spots in coach.
The destinations are on top of Tampa which was added in September and Nairobi in October. Lufthansa will add Panama City in March.
Lufthansa’s flight to the Maldives has good award availability in economy for their Wednesday outbound flight even in February’s super peak season at this point.
Flights to the Maldives generally, and with Star Alliance miles in particular, used to be really tough to get as recently as four years ago. There was once-weekly Austrian service from Vienna (that’s now been upgauged to a Boeing 777 and flies twice weekly). Otherwise you’d fly Singapore Airlines or you’d Thai Airways to Colombo, Sri Lanka and buy the short flight to Malé.
Turkish Airlines added flights to Istanbul and that’s been the most reliable way for Star Alliance members to make the trip.
Air India joined Star Alliance last year bringing with it Chennai and Bangalore – Malé service.
Outside the Domestic Terminal in Malé
American AAdvantage miles provide far more options – also relatively recently – for Maldives travel. Qatar joined oneworld and offers double-daily service from Doha. British Airways flies from London Gatwick. Etihad offers daily service. SriLankan joined oneworld and operates 3-4 flights a day from Colombo.
Delta miles can be redeemed for Korean Air’s one-stop service via Colombo three times a week, Shanghai Airlines’ three-times weekly service from Shanghai, China Eastern’s three-times weekly Colombo flight, Aeroflot’s three-times weekly service from Moscow, or China Southern’s three-times weekly flight from Guangzhou.
Why I Make the Trip Each Year