The national carrier of the Maldives, Maldivian, on Sunday, announced the decision to commence direct flights to Xi'an, China, within the first quarter of 2020.
The launching ceremony held in Xi'an was honored by Maldivian Ambassador to China Aishath Azeema, Island Aviation Services (IAS) Managing Director Mohamed Rizvi and the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Aishath Nahula.
Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC)'s Communications Manager Moosa Waseem, on Monday, stated that preparations for flight operations were underway, adding that Maldivian will begin direct flights through a newly acquired wide-bodied A330 scheduled to arrive in the country late 2019.
Currently, Maldivian operates non-direct routes to China through connective flights.
According to Chinese media Xinhua, the route is jointly operated by the 'Shaanxi Feijing Network Technology' and Maldivians' operating base in Xixian New Area, Shaanxi.
Since 2010, a majority of tourist arrivals hail from China. A total of 283,116 Chinese tourists visited the island nation in 2018.
The highest tourist arrivals in the first quarter of 2019 were also from China. However, official statistics show that the number of visitors from the Asian giant has recently begun to indicate a steady decline.