From the air, the atolls of the Maldives look like turquoise constellations. As you approach land, they’re more like emeralds set in white-beach bezels: nothing short of exquisitely beautiful. Jetting off to the Maldives is a bucket list cliché for a reason – beloved by celebrities, remembered by all who visit, these islands really could be the most beautiful place on earth. Fly to the Maldives with British Airways for your best holiday yet.
In the summer months British Airways flies to the Maldives via Doha, using our partner airline, Qatar Airways. From November to March, you can book a direct flight from London to Malé, the capital of the islands.
Landing at Malé airport doesn’t have to mean the end of the bird’s eye views. Step on board a charming twin otter seaplane to transfer to your resort and enjoy one more panorama before landing on the beach. Most British Airways Maldives holiday packages include the price of your transfer, so you can have a smooth, stress-free journey into paradise – all paid for in advance. Plus, our generous luggage allowance ensures you can take enough clothing to last a nice long stay – you deserve it.
Sadly, British Airways also flies back from the Maldives. You will have to leave eventually – at least until your next holiday.
Flights to the Maldives
You can fly to the Maldives every day of the year with our partner airline, Qatar Airways, from London, Manchester and Edinburgh. If you are flying with Qatar Airways, your journey will include a stop in Doha. Between November and March you can also fly direct to the Maldives with British Airways. In both cases, you’ll fly into Malé, the capital.
British Airways’ seasonal direct flights depart three times a week from London Heathrow, on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. Flights will land the following day at Malé. Direct flights back from the Maldives to London depart on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
Everything you need to know about flying to Maldives with British Airways
Flight time from London to the Maldives
You can fly direct from Heathrow Airport (LHR) to Velana International Airport (MLE – also known as Malé International Airport) in around ten hours. If you’re flying with Qatar Airways, you will change planes at Doha.
When is the cheapest time to fly to the Maldives?
November to March is peak season in the Maldives. The weather is lovely as the dry season rolls around and people flock to escape the winter months – plus you can fly direct with British Airways. However, because it’s such a popular time, flight prices can rise accordingly – especially around Christmas and New Year. Throughout the rest of the year you can generally find more inexpensive, indirect flights with our partner airline, Qatar Airways. Look out for cheap flights to Maldives after May, in the low season.
How do I get from Velana International Airport (Malé Airport) to my resort?
The first thing you’ll notice about Malé Airport is that it isn’t on Malé. You’ll land on Hulhule island next door, where a fleet of speedboats and seaplanes await. You would do best to book your transfer in advance – and your resort will help with this. Seaplane transfers offer fantastic views and are used for more distant resorts. Speedboat transfers are often the faster option. When you book your hotel on ba.com, you’ll see which transfer type applies to your resort.
What time is it in the Maldives?
It’s not a silly question. Officially, the Maldives all runs on one time zone: five hours ahead of GMT. However, some resorts have unofficial time zones so that guests can enjoy longer evenings. Resorts might be 30 minutes, an hour or an hour and a half ahead of Maldives Time (MHT). Check with your resort. Malé, the capital, sticks with Maldives Time.
British Nationals will be issued a visa on arrival in the Maldives. Your visa will cover up to 30 days’ holiday. You may need to show that you have a departure date booked, and sometimes that you have enough funds to cover your stay.
Our generous baggage allowances allow you to take everything you need for a longer break in the Maldives. When you book a package holiday or fly standard economy you can check in one piece of luggage weighing up to 23kg. If you’re travelling premium economy (World Traveller Plus), you can take two bags weighing 23kg each. Business (Club World) travellers can take two bags of up to 32kg. That’s a lot of flip flops! Our partner airline, Qatar Airways, offers up to 30kg of luggage in economy (World Traveller), extending to 40kg in business (Club World). Please refer to the Qatar Airways codeshare page for more information.
Please note that if you are travelling by seaplane, there may be further luggage restrictions. Check with your resort.
Read our baggage guide to answer your specific queries about luggage allowances when you fly with British Airways.
Which cabins can I book when I fly to the Maldives?
With personal entertainment systems, delicious meals and full bar service in all our cabins, you'll have a relaxing flight wherever you sit. Our long haul economy (World Traveller) cabins are great value if you’re looking for budget flights. For an extra fee you can select your seats in advance – the quieter seats are towards the front of the plane. Sit directly above the wings to reduce the effects of any turbulence. Alternatively, select your seats for free 24 hours in advance when online check-in opens.
Our premium economy (World Traveller Plus) cabin has more legroom and wider seats. Its smaller cabin affords greater privacy and you'll get an amenity kit with a toothbrush and toothpaste, socks and eye mask, plus a cushion and blanket.
Our business (Club World) cabin has fully flat beds for total comfort, a premium menu, and priority boarding. Enjoy bedding supplied by the White Company and noise-cancelling headphones.
Three long haul travel tips for flying to the Maldives
You don’t want to start your holiday stressed. Follow these little tips and see if they can’t help you arrive refreshed and ready to relax in the Maldives.
During your flight, it’s important to drink plenty of water. For the best experience, stick to water over alcohol and coffee, which can both disrupt your sleep.
Stretch your legs during the flight to aid circulation and invest in a pair of trendy compression socks to keep your body at its best during the flight.
A direct flight to the Maldives takes around ten hours and some flights include a stopover. Make sure you beat jetlag by living in your new time zone as soon as possible. Use our jet lag advisor to find out when to rest and when to keep yourself awake during the journey.
Start planning here – and spend more time relaxing there
The official currency of the Maldives is the Maldivian Rufiyaa, but you won’t need to use it if you’re staying on resort. Resorts accept dollars, as well as credit and debit cards.
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Nearly every island resort has its own ‘house reef’ – the nearest reef to the shore – and often freely available snorkelling equipment, too. You should check with the resort to find out how accessible the reef is. Learn whether you’ll need to go by boat, or whether you can head out on your own as soon as you wish.
Weather in the Maldives
There are two seasons in the Maldives – the popular dry season runs from December to March, and the so-called wet season runs from May to November. Both seasons are great for visitors, as the Maldives have a tropical climate and an average temperature of a perfect 26 - 30°C all year round. Generally, early May and early November see more unsettled weather.
It’s not hard to see why this one of the most popular resorts in the Maldives: Lux* South Ari Atoll is a five-star beauty with lavish villas that feel like home. As one of the larger resorts, it has a range of restaurants to suit all tastes, plus it’s near one of the best places for whale shark sightings.
You can’t say you’ve seen the Maldives until you’ve seen what’s underwater. The snorkelling here is considered some of the best in the world. There are over 1,100 species of fish – that’s almost as many as there are Maldivian islands – and many of them form part of the reef ecosystem. Look out for parrotfish chewing on the coral, moody barracuda close to the surface, and tiny clownfish dipping in and out of anemones.
Thanks to imports, resorts in the Maldives can provide guests with every cuisine under the sun. If you want a taste of the local produce, turn to fresh fish, coconuts, and curry. Invite yourself to a seafood barbecue for blistered pink langoustine or track down a ‘mas riha’ (tuna curry).
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Wake up to the glistening oceanand stroll across powder-soft sands