Maafaru Airport to Open up for Intl Arrivals to the Maldives
18 June, 2020
A new Maafaru airport developed in an ultra-luxury tourism zone in the northern part of Maldives will be fully operational for international arrivals in July, the airport operator announced Sunday.
The Abdu Dhabi-funded international airport was specifically developed to cater to high net worth individuals who want to arrive there directly and travel to one of the ultra-luxury resorts in the atoll for their holiday.
But the airport lacked the required equipment, as well as customs and immigration capabilities to handle international arrivals.
Ahmed Ibrahim, Director of Ground Operations at Island Aviation Services Limited (IAS), told Public Service Media that the necessary facilities are being installed at the airport located on the island of Maafaru in the northern Noonu atoll.
“We will be fully ready to cater to international flights open from July 1,” he said.
Aviation authorities in Maldives are exploring the possibility of allowing private jets to directly land at airports other than the main airport, as the island nation anticipates luxury travellers to be the first to visit when it reopens its borders in July.
Velana International Airport is the main port of entry for private jets at the moment, but once cleared they can fly to other airports that can cater to private jets.
The government has not singled out the other airports being considered for private jet landing, but it is likely that the Maafaru airport will be permitted to cater to jets.
The Maldives is preparing to reopen its borders to visitors in July.
The country’s tourism ministry has drafted and invited comments from industry stakeholders on its own guidelines on reopening the borders.
Maldives, the most dispersed country on the planet with 1,192 islands spread over roughly 90,000 square kilometres, already has 14 airports, including five international airports. Honeymoon islands with white sandy beaches and beautiful blue lagoons surrounded by turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean pleasing to the eye already on the airplane board before landing at one of the airports of the Maldives.
Over a million tourists from across the globe visit the Indian Ocean island nation every year to holiday in one of the 120 resorts and 300 plus guesthouses located in all corners of the country. The multi-billion dollar tourism industry, which is the country’s main economic activity, relies heavily on the domestic transport infrastructure, especially air travel. Read More
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