Air France Launching Service to the Maldives, Here’s How to Get There on Points

Routes Online noticed that Air France has added Paris – Male service to its schedule twice a week.

Starting November 1, the Delta partner will operate a 3-class Boeing 777-200ER on the route:

    Paris – Male, 8:50pm – 10:20am+1, Air France AF222 (Wednesday/Saturday)
    Male – Paris, 1:05pm – 7:35pm, Air France AF223 (Thursday/Sunday)

Park Hyatt Hadahaa Maldives

Air France 772s have their new business class — fully flat with direct aisle access, a similar seat to Cathay Pacific, EVA Air, and American’s Boeing 777-300ERs.

Air France KLM’s Flying Blue program is a transfer partner of Chase, Citibank, and American Express making their miles easy to come by. They’ve just started allowing award bookings by all members through the end of their published schedules, rather than having to wait until 300 days out (this is bad news for Delta members who had a one month head start on Air France flights over Air France’s own members).

Tarmac in Male

For SkyTeam frequent flyers whether using Delta or Air France (or employing a Czech OK Plus strategy) this adds an option beyond China Southern via Guangzhou and Aeroflot via Moscow as well as both the Korean Air with Colombo, Sri Lanka fifth freedom flight and China Eastern ‘s Colombo – Male extension of its Kunming – Colombo service.

China Eastern 737 Boarding in Male Bound for Colombo and Then Kunming

Star Alliance options are Singapore Airlines (Singapore), Turkish Airlines (Istanbul), Austrian (Vienna), Lufthansa (Frankfurt).

Singapore Airlines on the Ground in Male

oneworld service is available on British Airways (London Gatwick), Qatar (Doha), and SriLankan (Colombo).

I’ve flown Singapore, China Eastern, Emirates and Etihad in and out of Male — with Etihad my most frequent choice. Etihad has a wide variety of partners whose miles you can use, including American, Asiana, Alitalia, ANA, Korean and Malaysia meaning you can use American Express points (Alitalia, ANA), Citi (Malaysia), or Chase (Korean) for redemptions.

Emirates flights can be redeemed with, among others, miles from Alaska, Korean, JAL, Qantas and Malaysia Airlines.

Male Arrivals

Flying to Colombo is another good option, it’s less than 500 miles from Male and flights are plentiful and often inexpensive. My business class China Eastern flight was US$90 one-way. Thai Airways serves Colombo from Bangkok, as another Star Alliance option.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. 100k plus $400 in cash from the US. Nice that AF is a partner of all currencies but that’s a bit steep considering the other options.

  2. The Maldives are over. No one’s going to want to go there anymore, now that just about anyone can get there from Europe without even changing planes. No more bragging rights; no more “I Survived flying to the Maldives” t-shirts. It’s over….. 😉

  3. @ Gary – what is routing would your recommend out of IAH? Something that balances minimizing travel time with good product.

  4. @Ivan Y – you’ve got several flights to the Mideast but generally you’ll have a long layover on your connection, e.g. Turkish through Istanbul, Emirates via Dubai, Qatar via Doha

  5. @ Gary – thank you! Looks like Emirates would be the quickest at 26:10. Via DOH – 27:25; via IST 28:05; via FRA – 29:45; via CDG 31:10 (due to 12 hour layover). BA via London can be quicker but have to go from LHR to LGW.

    Using Alaska miles would be interesting to go through Paris – would make for a nice layover.

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