Male Airport Witnesses Over 60% Decrease in Flight Landings

Maldives Airports


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25 March, 2020

Maldives Airport Company Limited (MACL) has revealed that Velana International Airport has witnessed over 60% decrease in the number of flight landings.

On 22nd March, the airport welcomed 16 out of the 43 international flights scheduled.

However, the total number of domestic flights within Maldives on Sunday stood at 25.

As part of the on going efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19, MACL has also started a program to disinfect roads and open areas of Velana International Airport.

Various travel restrictions put into place by countries due to the COVID-19 pandemic has put the airline industry in havoc throughout the globe. This has resulted in temporary suspensions of flights by a number of airlines.

  • Singapore Airlines has reduced frequency on its service to the Maldives, as it became the latest major carrier to ground all but a handful of planes and flights as the Covid-19 pandemic wreaks havoc on the global travel industry.
  • Turkish Airline has suspended its operations to Maldives on Monday (23 march), as the spread of the novel coronavirus hammers global travel demand. However, operations are planned to resume on April 16. Turkish Airlines operates a daily direct service between Istanbul Airport in Istanbul to Velana International Airport in Male.
  • Etihad Airways (Etihad) will temporarily suspend all flights to, from, and via Abu Dhabi. The suspension of flights to and from Abu Dhabi International Airport will commence at 23:59 (UAE local time) on Wednesday 25 March, and will last for an initial 14 days, subject to further directives by the relevant authorities.
  • One of the world’s biggest airlines, Emirates, said it was suspending most of its passenger flights starting March 25th. Emirates will continue to operate passenger and cargo flights to the following countries and territories until further notice, as long as borders remain open, and there is demand: the UK, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Japan, Singapore, Australia, South Africa, South Korea, USA, and Canada.
  • Qatar Airways has announced that passengers affected by changes in its services can opt for a future travel voucher that will be valid for one year from its issuance date. Qatar’s national airline had said that it would allow its passengers to get refund or re-book their tickets to alternative dates or destinations without any charge.

Maldives has previously taken border control measures by temporarily suspending all tourist arrivals from UK, Malaysia, China, Italy, Bangladesh, Iran, parts of South Korea, Spain, and certain regions of Germany and France.

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Maldives, the most dispersed country on the planet with 1,192 islands spread over roughly 90,000 square kilometres, already has 13 airports, including four 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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