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Air France commences flights to Maldives

18 December 2020, MVT 22:26
Pictured here is AirFrance's first flight travelling directly to Maldices from France to MACL's Velana International Airport. PHOTO: MIHAARU.
18 December 2020, MVT 22:26

French flag carrier ‘Air France’, on Saturday, is set to resume their flights headed to Maldives.

Gracing Maldivian skies after the COVID19 induced hiatus, Air France is presently scheduled to have three weekly flights arriving to the island nation.

It is estimated that with the re-commencement of the carrier’s flights, the country will see an increase in the number of inbound tourists from France and other parts of Europe.

Though paced slowly, tourism figures first began improving in October after Maldives, like many parts of the world, reopened borders following lockdowns and restrictions brought on by the emergence of the COVID19 in its islands.

Since, as more countries relax travel regulations, the country has seen an uptake in regular flight operations as well as overall tourist arrivals. Currently, more than 20 airlines have restarted operations in Maldives.

Over the last week, Bahrain’s national carrier GulfAir have also resumed their flights to Velana International Airport and other airlines like UAE’s Emirates have increased the frequency of their flights to thrice weekly, whereas Sri Lankan Airlines have begun flights from London to Maldives.

On Tuesday, local news outlet Mihaaru reported that the number of foreign nationals arriving at Velana International Airport within a period of 24 hours, had begun averaging 4000 tourists per day.

It was suggested that a 15 percent increase in flights headed for Maldives led to a rise of 32 percent in tourist arrivals, with unnamed sources within the industry quoted saying that, per their estimates, current figures indicate a recovery curve close to pre-COVID19 arrival rates.

Air France landed its maiden flight to the country in 2017 and has retained a strong presence that contributes heavily to the travel sector.

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