The Edition


38 express interest in leasing seaplane terminal lounge

Mariyam Malsa
27 September 2020, MVT 12:35
The new seaplane terminal at Velana International Airport (VIA). PHOTO: MACL
Mariyam Malsa
27 September 2020, MVT 12:35

A total of 38 expressed interest in leasing the executive lounge of the new seaplane terminal at Velana International Airport (VIA).

Adding to local media outlet Mihaaru, the applicants include several prominent businesses managing luxury resorts in Maldives.

Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL) opened for applications on September 14, with a deadline of September 23. The opportunity was open for seaplane operators and tour operators as well as businesses in the tourism industry.

MACL's deadline for these applicants to place bids for the lounge area is set for 1100 hrs on October 11.

All applicants are required to deposit USD 10,000 (MVR 154,200) as bid security for each lounge area.

The newly constructed seaplane terminal cost the government USD 55 million (MVR 848 million) to complete.

MACL's controversial decision to hand over the majority of the new seaplane terminal to Trans Maldivian Airlines (TMA) was widely scrutinised, with the parliament's Public Finance Committee moving to investigate the matter earlier in February.

An audit conducted as per a directive of the parliamentary committee revealed that the contentious deal would have resulted in an annual loss of MVR 41 million to the state.

Although MACL initially decided to lease 31,000 square meters of the terminal to TMA well below the market price, at a rate of USD 10.35 per square meter, for a period of 15 years, the Ministry of Finance has directed MACL's board to lease 6,400 square meters for a two-year period to TMA instead.

Seven months after the finance ministry issued its recommendations regarding the matter, MACL has yet to announce any agreements with TMA while the company's board has not disclosed any decisions.