What to Expect on Arrival and How to Leave Airport
Velana International Airport, better known as Malé (MLE) is the main airport of the Maldives. Located in the North Malé Atoll, the country's main transport hub stretches the only runway on the island of Hulhule, 10 minutes by boat from the capital of the Maldives. Today (2018) is the only airport in the Maldives that serves most of the international flights. Linked by shedule direct flights to major cities of southeast Asia, Europe and the Middle East Malé airport accepts Etihad Airways, Aeroflot, Air Asia,Emirates, Sri Lankan, Singapore Airlines, Bangkok airways and many others.
The new 3,400 metre by 60 metre runway at the Maldives’ main airport welcomed flight in September 2108 Etihad Airways A380 jet that made history with the first ever landing of the world’s largest passenger airliner in the island nation.
Malé International Airport is also the starting point to other islands of the Maldives archipelago. Local airlines: Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA), Maldivian and FlyMe run domestic flights to other airports in the Maldives.
Try to get a seat on the plane by the window, and when you fly to the Maldives, the surveys under the wing are simply unforgettable - the hypnotic palette of blue and turquoise contours will keep your forehead pressed constantly to the porthole.
LiveAboard.com Hot Deals this week in Maldives
- Scubaspa Ying - 10 Oct 2020 - from €1,047.00 - Best of Maldives - Group or charter booking specials available. Please contact us for details.
- Sachika - 17 Oct 2020 - from €1,098.00 - Best of Central Atolls: North Male, South Male, Felidhoo, Ari - %22 off
- Sheena - 18 Oct 2020 - from €1,302.00 - Best of Male and Ari Atoll (Male-Male) - Promo valid for New Bookings only. No Single Supplement for Single Travellers. - %30 off
- Ocean Sapphire - 07 Nov 2020 - from €1,272.00 - Best of Central Atolls: North Male, South Male, Felidhoo, Ari - %15 off
- Blue Force One - 05 Dec 2020 - from €1,685.00 - Central Atolls Classical Route - Single Cabin Offer - Single supplement reduced to 50% for a private double cabin! Plus 50% off a second consecutive week
Immigration Control and Customs
Upon arrival, at Malé airport you will need to go through immigration and customs control, having pre-filled a special immigration card, and the luggage gets very fast. Expect a thorough check of your baggage to identify prohibited items (alcohol). Do not try to deceive the vigilance of customs officers, masking alcohol under non-alcoholic drinks - bottles are guaranteed to cause suspicion and they will be withdrawn. If you bring in duty free it will be taken off you and you get a receipt, You can then collect it on your way home. On the positive side of the airport is the compactness, which allows you to take a short walk from the gate through immigration to the baggage carousel, and through customs to the treasured exit outside.
There is a pizza cafe very nice pizza and air con, a burger king and a couple of other food outlets, there is no free wifi at the airport but if you spend $15 on food you can get a voucher for 30 mins free.
If your next step on the way to paradise is seaplane trip - at the exit from the customs you should be met by a member of your resort or tour operator and escorted to the TMA terminal, where you will be informed about the time of your departure and the gate number for the seaplane boarding. Passengers using domestic flights to the airports: Dharavandhoo, Kahdhoo, Hanimadhoo, Kaadehdhoo, Fuvamulah, Kooddoo, Thimarafushi, Ifuru Airport, Maamigili and GAN - must head the departure terminal to the Maldivian or FlyMe check-in counters.
For international departures it is recommended to arrive at the check-in for 3 hours before departure, for domestic flights for 1 hour.
Currently, there are two independent seaplane operators, Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA) and Island Aviation Services (IAS), operating separate terminal facilities located on the east side. These facilities will be either dismantled or relocated in 2019, and a common new seaplane terminal and floating dock facility with the capacity to park 63 Code B aircraft (such as Twin Otter— currently in operation) will be built in place.
The new seaplane terminal will be a concrete structure with masonry walls and glass curtain walls comprising of four floors with approximately 7,000 sq. m per floor for a total of approximately 28,000 sq. m.
There will be three designated water runways for efficient seaplane operation. The seaplane area will be further expanded—by shifting the Hulhumalé Causeway adjacent to the house reef of the island— to allow more room for manoeuvre and to avoid flying over Hulhumalé. READ MORE
Banks & Currency Exchange
Bank of Maldives is located next to the Domestics Terminal. For the convenience of passengers there are two currency exchange points: one at the arrival terminal and the other on the first floor of the departure hall. The ATM is located right next to the exit from the international arrival terminal.
The China-Maldives Friendship Bridge, the first cross-sea bridge in the Maldives, opened to traffic on September 2018. Connecting capital Male and neighboring Hulhule island where the Maldives' main international airport is located, the two-km bridge makes it possible for locals and tourists to transfer between the two islands on land within five minutes.
Malé Airport is also linked to the capital, Malé City by regular ferry service. The journey time is 10 minutes, the ticket price is 1.2 $. In addition, the airport has the opportunity to rent a speedboat transfer. READ MORE
Facilities for Passengers
At Velana International Airport you will find: a medical center, a pharmacy, a mother and child room (1st floor departure lounge), free carts in the arrival and departure areas, a baggage drop-off room (24/7) and a baggage check point, free shower rooms, prayer room, VIP-lounge and several lounges, a smoking room, Internet kiosks, mail and telephone offices, as well as banking services. There are also chairs and trolleys for passengers with disabilities.
Male airport has a baggage storage service. It is located near the toilets and the room of the mother and child. This service may be useful for travelers planning to explore Hulhumale or Malé city. The cost of storing one suitcase or bag is $ 5 or 75 MVR per 24 hours. The cost of storing surfboards, large boxes is $ 10 or 150 MVR.
In the international departures area there are duty-free shops with a good selection of alcohol, perfumes and cosmetics, chocolate and cigarettes. After an unforgettable tropical vacation Maldives duty free offers the opportunity to make the latest purchases and buy gifts and souvenirs for friends and family in a refreshing and relaxing environment.
You can buy a SIM card from any operator (and you must) right at the Malé airport. The sales office is located in the so-called business center. After the exit the luggage claim area at once turn right and the both the offices of Dhiraagu and Ooreedoo will be on your right-hand side.
Cafes, restaurants and bars are mostly located in the Departure Terminal. The Coffee Club, Dome, Burger King, Thai Express restaurant, Swensen's ice cream are the most famous names to eat at the airport.
Malé airport info: +960 3323506 or +960 7972047
Statistics show that 34 international airlines from 39 destinations in Europe, Middle East, China, Far East and South Asia, are now flying directly to Velana International Airport. An average of 384 flight movements take place every day, with the highest recorded for a given day at 567.
VIA is the primary entry and exit point in the Maldives for tourists, other travellers and air cargo. It is also the hub that connects the Maldives with the outside world.
More than 60 percent of tourists are transferred from VIA to resorts either by seaplane or wheel-based domestic carriers. Air transport has become the preferred method for transferring tourists as it is both efficient and convenient to carry tourists by air to resorts located in distant atolls.
Velana International Airport (VIA) has been named Indian Ocean's Leading Airport at the African and Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony of the World Travel Awards 2018 held recently at the Durban International Convention Centre, (Durban ICC) in South Africa.
Best Hotels in Maldives
Best for Budget Trip
Best Resorts in Maldives
Recent Posts 16.09.2020
- Seaside Finolhu Ready to Open Following Exciting Transformation
- Must Do Experiences at Constance Moofushi
- Air Travel post coronavirus (updated)
- COVID-19 TRAVEL FAQ (updated)
- Emperor Maldives starts 'Lucky Trip' offer with guaranteed liveaboard spot
- Soneva launches Virtual Wine Tasting
- Waldorf Astoria Maldives joins to the world’s best travel advisors, Virtuoso
- The Ritz-Carlton Maldives features new butler concept
- These Hotels are now Offering Free Covid PCR test in the Maldives
- Sheraton Maldives reopens 1st October with enhanced Сleanliness and Hygiene precautions
- Huvafen Fushi became a member the Small Luxury Hotels of the World
- The Nautilus Maldives Special Offers, packages for everyone
- OZEN Reserve Bolifushi appoints Ricardo Leal as General Manager
- Top 10 Things to Do at Waldorf Astoria Maldives
- The 10 Most Amazing Places for Travel Photo in Maldives
- 10 Reasons You Should Add Waldorf Astoria Maldives to Your 2021 Bucket List
- Maldives to Reopen the Resorts: Here is the Schedule (updated)
- Maldives Guest Houses to Reopen from 15 October
- 10 Reasons Why We Love Diving Safari in The Maldives
- Kandima Maldives Announces the ‘Bring It On’ before re-opening 1st September
- Safaris in the Maldives Allowed to Restart Operations
- Soneva Fushi Opens New One - and Two-bedroom Over-Water Villas
- Experience The Ultimate All-Inclusive Holiday at Emerald Maldives
- The Best Local Islands for Budget Family Holiday
- Create the Perfect Holiday Itinerary Before You Travel to Kuredu Maldives
- Where to Spot Celebrities in The Maldives
Beach or Water Villa?
Maldives - a name that became synonymous with honeymooners' paradise in the tourism world, has slowly revamped to cater to the needs of families visiting this tropical island. Special kidsRead More
10 Romantic Dining Experiences
The Maldives is a breathtaking destination with it's paper-white sands, azure lagoons, and seclude island vibes. Dining and romance go hand in hand in the Maldives.The restaurants and destinationRead More
6 Underwater Restaurants
Dining under the sea is a growing trend in the Maldives that enables diners to enjoy a great food and incredible underwater views all at once. The 6 breathtaking underwater restaurants in Maldives must toRead More
Maldives Hotel Reviews
Some of the best hotels and resorts in the Maldives are already included in this list, and the good part of them offers the best prices. We will constantly add new hotels, so regularly check for the best dealsRead More
10 Best Liveaboards
Liveaboards in Maldives is the best way to discover underwater world with many must-have tropical SCUBA experiences. Deserted, white sand islandsRead More
10 Exclusive Resorts in Maldives
The Maldives is paradise destination that should be on the bucket list of every discerning travelers. There's a special breed of hotels there that cater to the most tasteful of luxury travelersRead More
Maldives Luxury Guide
Here's the best of Maldives for luxury travellers. We've compiled the finest recommendations of places to stay, ranging from the most celebrated five-star resorts to luxurious private islands Read More
Maldives Romantic Guide
The ultimate ‘flop and drop' and honeymoon destination, the Maldives is the playground for the most amazing and finest utilization of each second of this extremely valuable and hopeful time with each other in tota Read More
Maldives Budget Guide
Budget travellers choose Maldives as their destination of choice thanks to the variety of affordable stays Read More
Maldives Family Guide
Maldives - a name that became synonymous with honeymooners' paradise in the tourism world, has slowly Read More