Coronavirus Air Travel
Here is all You Need to Know if You are Planning on Travelling to The Maldives during the Coronavirus pandemic
LOT Airlines commence Direct Flights from Poland to Maldives
22 Feb, 2021
Poland national flag carrier – LOT Polish Airlines commenced chartered flights from Poland to Velana International Airport (VIA) on February 19, 2021. The first direct flight from Poland to VIA came last Friday morning with 294 passengers.
The Airline has confirmed five scheduled chartered flight up to March 2021, with more than 250 passengers and is planned to continue until April 2020. These flights are chartered by Maldivian Travel Agency Sun Ocean Maldives joined with Poland’s Itaka.
According to MACL, beginning of LOT Polish Airline chartered flights will open a new market and will support to recover the tourism industry of the Maldives.
Sun Ocean Director of Sales Mr. Rasheed Abdullah and Manager Sales and Marketing said: “An average of a 1150 tourist arrivals per mon were estimated with these flights every week. We believe that this will play a crucial role to progress of the Tourism industry of the Maldives as charter flights will extend with possibilities until 2022.”
India’s Vistara to launch Maldives service with Mumbai-Male direct flights
16 Feb, 2021
Vistara has announced plans to begin operations to the Maldives.
From March 3, the Indian full-service airline will fly three times a week between Mumbai and Male, with direct flights operating on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
The round-trip all-inclusive fares for Mumbai-Male-Mumbai start at INR 17,699 ($243) and round-trip all-inclusive fares for Male-Mumbai-Male start at MVR 3,499 ($227).
Bookings for the flights are now open on all channels including the airline’s website, its iOS and Android mobile apps, through Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) and travel agents.
The carrier, a joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, commenced operations on January 9, 2015 with its inaugural flight between Delhi and Mumbai.
The airline serves more than 34 destinations with a fleet of Airbus A320, Airbus A321neo, Boeing 787-9 and Boeing 737-800NG aircraft.
Vistara joins a growing list of Indian airlines starting flight operations to the Maldives. Air India, IndiGo and GoAir now offer scheduled passenger services between several major Indian cities and Male.
In August, officials from the Maldives and India inked an agreement to create a “travel bubble” to facilitate movement of people between the two countries.
In 2020, India was ranked the top source market for tourism. Currently, India ranks second for the year 2021.
Maldivian Airline to restart flights to Cochin!
29 January, 2021
National carrier, Maldivian, has announced that the company will be restarting flights to Cochin again, effective February 1, 2021.
The airline reports that it will be operating flights to the Indian city three times a week. Maldivian will also be offering their passengers 30kg of baggage allowance.
Cochin/Kochi is located on the coast of Kerala state in southwest India and is known as the commercial and IT hub of Kerela. India is a popular destination among the Maldivians, mainly for medical tourism.
IndiGo to Increase Frequency of Maldives-Bangalore Flights to Daily from 1st February
25 January, 2021
IndiGo will be operating daily non stop direct flights from Bangalore, India to the capital of Maldives, Malé starting 01st February 2021.
IndiGo is currently operating 3 weekly flights between Male’ and Bangalore. With this increase in its Bangalore service, the airline will be operating flights from Maldives to 4 cities in India as follows:
To Mumbai – Daily flights
To Delhi : 4 times a week
To Bangalore : Daily flights
To Cochin : 4 flights a week
IndiGo has also introduced special medical fares exclusively to the Aasandha team in combination with Maldivian Holidays. This special fare will also be introduced to its Bangalore route as well.
Earlier in August 2020, Maldives and India agreed to establish an Air Bubble between the 2 countries. This is the first Air Bubble established in South Asia. The flights are arranged in a safe corridor provided by the local authorities where the tourists can travel straight to their respective resorts from the airport without any hassle, in absence of quarantine restrictions.
Sri Lankan Airlines to Resume London-Maldives Direct Flights from 13th February
21 January, 2021
Sri Lankan Airlines will resume London to Maldives direct flights from 13th February 2020 onwards. The airline will operate 02 weekly fights on Wednesdays and Sundays.
SriLankan Airlines is an award winning airline with a solid reputation for service, comfort, safety, reliability, and punctuality, providing convenient connections to its global route network of 113 destinations in 51 countries.
Ace Aviation Services Maldives is the General Sales Agent for SriLankan Airlines in Maldives. The airline operates daily flights to Colombo with smooth connections to over 53 destinations worldwide, providing passenger and cargo services.
UK to close all travel corridors from Monday
16 January, 2021
The UK is to close all travel corridors from Monday morning to “protect against the risk of as yet unidentified new strains” of Covid-19, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Friday.
From Monday at 4am, all travel corridors with the UK will be suspended – meaning that all international arrivals who have departed from or transited through any country outside the Common Travel Area in the previous 10 days will be required to both take a pre-departure test, and self-isolate immediately for 10 days on arrival. This includes British and Irish nationals.
This urgent action is in response to increasing concern over the transmissibility and virulence of new strains evolving internationally. It will also ensure that the government is able to protect the progress being made on the country’s vaccination programme.
This move will be supported by increased enforcement, both at the border and across the UK, with Border Force increasing the number of spot checks on passengers that have entered the country.
International travel corridors have been in place since July for countries and territories such as the Maldives where critical analysis suggests the risk of Covid-19 can be mitigated.
However, the level of risk associated with the emergence of new variants globally has now increased, requiring more stringent measures to block all potential avenues through which new strains of the virus could enter the UK while we consider how best to respond.
The new measures will be reviewed on February 15, while further work takes place to manage the threat posed by coronavirus variants.
Turkish Airlines launches daily direct flights to Maldives
04 January, 2021
Turkish Airlines is now offering a daily direct service to the Maldives.
The flagship carrier of Turkey will operate the service between Istanbul and Male until January 17.
Turkish Airline resumed its passenger services to the Maldives in late July after the island nation reopened its borders on July 15. The airline operated twice a weekly service.
Before the pandemic, Turkish Airlines was operating a daily service between Istanbul Airport and Velana International Airport.
The direct service between Istanbul and Male serves as a hassle-free connection for those wishing to visit the Maldives from Europe as well as Maldivians that want to explore Turkey.
Emirates foresees peak travel period at start of 2021
04 January, 2021
Travel is expected to reach another peak at the end of this week for Emirates, as the airline expects yet another busy period. A high volume of travellers will be making their way to Emirates’ dedicated Terminal 3 facilities on 2nd and 3rd January 2021, to depart Dubai, in addition to a rush of inbound traffic into the city. Across both days, over 70,000 passengers will be departing and arriving on Emirates flights.
Customers are reminded to check the latest travel requirements to their booked destination, and to arrive at the airport at least three hours before their flight departure. Passengers are encouraged to build in extra time in their journey to avoid delays with expected traffic congestion coming into Terminal 3. Passengers arriving back to Dubai should check the specific entry testing requirements from the country they are coming from.
Passengers physically checking in at the airport are requested to check in no later than 3 hours prior to departure, regardless of class of travel. Customers who present themselves less than 60 minutes prior to their scheduled flight departure will not be accepted for travel. They can also check in online 48 hours to 90 minutes before flight departure. Those who opt to check-in online are reminded to visit the Emirates check-in counters at the airport to collect their boarding pass and to verify travel documents required for each destination country.
Customers are also urged to use the convenient self check-in and bag drop kiosks for a more seamless airport experience. The service is available to all destinations except to the US, Canada, China, India and Hong Kong due to additional requirements from these destinations. The 32 new self-service bag drop machines and 16 self-service kiosks complement the desks manned by Emirates check-in agents and will help reduce waiting time during the peak period.
Customers can also utilize Emirates’ biometric path for a contactless journey from specific check-in desks in Terminal 3 to boarding gates, with less document checks and less queuing. Immigration formalities have also been streamlined with biometrics and facial recognition activated at both the smart gates and tunnel.
After checking in, passengers are also advised to make sure they get to their boarding gate on time. Gates open 90 minutes before departure, boarding starts 45 minutes before each flight and gates close 20 minutes before departure. If passengers report late Emirates will not be able to accept them for travel. Check-in and gate closure timings will be strictly followed to ensure flights depart on schedule.
For more information on entry and testing requirements for residents and international visitors to Dubai visit: emirates.com
Qatar Airways lifts Maldives service to daily four flights
02 January, 2021
Qatar Airways has once again expanded its operations to the Maldives. Now with four flights per day between Doha and Male, Qatar Airways provides a daily seat capacity of over 1,100 to the Maldives.
“Now is the perfect time to plan your getaway to the Maldives now that we have increased our services to @VelanaAirport to four daily flights. Paradise awaits,” the airline said on Twitter.
Qatar Airways was the first airline to resume scheduled flight operations to the Maldives after the island nation reopened its borders on July 15.
The airline’s onboard safety measures for passengers and cabin crew include the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for cabin crew and a complimentary protective kit and disposable face shields for passengers.
Business Class passengers on aircraft equipped with Qsuite can enjoy the enhanced privacy this award-winning business seat provides, including sliding privacy partitions and the option to use a ‘Do Not Disturb (DND)’ indicator. Qsuite is available on flights to more than 30 destinations including Frankfurt, Singapore, London and New York.
China Southern Airlines and Qatar Airways Launch Codeshare
27 December, 2020
Qatar Airways has announced the first stage of codeshare cooperation with China Southern Airlines has begun with the Chinese carrier placing its code on Qatar Airways flights between Guangzhou and Doha. Flights are already available for sale with the first codeshare flights starting from 27 December 2020.
This codeshare agreement is the first step in the strengthening of cooperation between both airlines, since Qatar Airways acquired 5 per cent of China Southern Airlines in December 2018. The codeshare flights will enable China Southern Airlines’ passengers to book travel on Qatar Airways’ flights between Guangzhou and Doha and onwards to more than 60 destinations in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. The next stage of the codeshare agreement will see the Chinese carrier also place its code on Qatar Airways flights between Beijing and Doha, once the current restrictions for flights in and out of China are lifted.
Qatar Airways strategic investment in a variety of fuel-efficient twin-engine aircraft, including the largest fleet of Airbus A350 aircraft, has enabled it to continue flying throughout this crisis and perfectly positions it to lead the sustainable recovery of international travel. The airline recently took delivery of three new state-of-the-art Airbus A350-1000 aircraft, increasing its total A350 fleet to 52 with an average age of just 2.6 years. Due to COVID-19’s impact on travel demand, the airline has grounded its fleet of Airbus A380s as it is not environmentally justifiable to operate such a large four-engine aircraft in the current market. Qatar Airways has also recently launched a new programme that enables passengers to voluntarily offset the carbon emissions associated with their journey at the point of booking.
Ukraine International Airlines launch charter operations to Maldives
27 December, 2020
Two airlines from Ukraine have started charter operations to the Maldives.
Azur Air Ukraine operated its maiden charter flight to the Maldives Friday, while the maiden charter flight operated by the country’s flag carrier Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) arrived in the Maldives Saturday.
UIA connects Ukraine to over 80 destinations in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, as well as to New York City and Toronto from its base at Boryspil Airport, and also operates domestic flights. UIA serves over 1000 flights per week.
Azur Air Ukraine’s charter operations to the Maldives come weeks after its sister airline from Russia began its services to the Indian Ocean island nation.
With more airlines now offering services to the Maldives for the winter holiday season, travellers from Russia as well as the CIS region will have even more options to enjoy a tropical getaway in the Indian Ocean tourist paradise this winter holiday season.
In addition to Azur Air, Russian flag carrier Aeroflot operates eight flights per week on the Moscow-Male route. Nordwind Airlines also offers travellers twice a week service to the Maldives, while Rossiya Airlines flies once a week between Moscow and Male.
Air France resumes Maldives flights with three weekly services
19 December, 2020
Air France on Saturday resumed scheduled passenger flights to the Maldives.
The airline now offers three direct services per week between Paris and Male.
The French flagship carrier began direct flights to the Maldives on November 2, 2017, offering two weekly flights to the island nation’s main Velana International Airport on departure from Paris-Charles de Gaulle.
However, it was forced to suspend its services in the wake of border closures imposed by Maldivian authorities in late March in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
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