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Seaplane operations to commence between Addu, Huvadhu

Mariyam Malsa
04 October 2020, MVT 17:52
A photograph taken during the contract signing ceremony between IAS and AIA. PHOTO: MALDIVIAN
Mariyam Malsa
04 October 2020, MVT 17:52

Island Aviation Services (AIS) and Addu International Airport (AIA), on Saturday, signed an agreement to commence seaplane operations between the southern atolls of Addu and Huvadhu.

The seaplane transfers are scheduled to commence within the upcoming two months.

IAS Managing Director Mohamed Rizvi signed the contract on behalf of the company, which manages the national carrier Maldivian. AIA was represented by Managing Director Gais Naseer.

Minister of Tourism Dr Abdulla Mausoom and Minister of Economic Affairs Fayyaz Ismail, as well as parliamentary representatives of Addu and members of the Addu City Council, attended the ceremony held in Gan.

Speaking at the ceremony, IAS Managing Director Rizvi highlighted that the arrangement to operate seaplanes would boost tourism activities in the area.

Furthermore, AIA Managing Director Gais noted that the establishment of seaplane transfers would increase job opportunities and attract greater investment to the southern region.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to negatively impact the region's tourist establishments, with both of the luxury resorts located in Addu remaining temporarily closed.

Although seaplane operations, catering solely to the tourism industry, were first established in Addu and Huvadhu Atoll in 2016, the transfers were discontinued after a brief period.

Addu encompasses the administrative atoll of Seenu, while Huvadhu refers to the atolls Gaafu Alif and Gaafu Dhaalu.