The Edition


Flydubai to resume flights to Maldives late October

Shahudha Mohamed
22 September 2020, MVT 09:02
An aircraft of flydubai. The Dubai-based airline will resume flights to Maldives on October 27. PHOTO: FLYDUBAI
Shahudha Mohamed
22 September 2020, MVT 09:02

Dubai-based airline 'flydubai' announced plans to resume flights to Male', the capital city of Maldives, on October 27.

The carrier stated that their flights will operate between Dubai International Airport and Velana International Airport (VIA) four times a week on Tuesdays, Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays.

"We are pleased to restart our operations to the Maldives. This has always been a popular destination for our passengers in the UAE (United Arab Emirates), GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) and the Russian speaking markets who are seeking a beach holiday", said Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations Sudhir Sreedharan.

"With Holidays by flydubai expanding its hotels and ancillary offering, we are now able to offer our passengers full packages at affordable prices whether they choose to fly in Business or Economy".

According to flydubai, which discontinued flights to Maldives in 2018, the airline is resuming operations "due to popular demand, as the Indian Ocean destination welcomed back tourists of all nationalities earlier this summer".

"We continue to see signs of recovery as more countries start to lift restrictions on international travel. Working together, all the stakeholders in the travel industry have a role to play to safeguard travel in this new environment enabling more people to travel confidently", Chief Executive Officer at flydubai Ghaith Al Ghaith said.

The airline offered assurances that they would, "remain agile in our operations and committed to gradually adding more flights to further support the flow of trade and tourism around the region as we look ahead to this new way of travel in the months to come".

With the resumption of flights to Maldives, flydubai's number of destinations will increase to 40 across Africa, Central Asia, Europe, the Indian Subcontinent and the Middle East.

Flydubai has redesigned its passenger travel experience to ensure a safe environment that minimises crew and passenger contact, in addition to offering PCR testing at special rates and services which covers passengers' health expenses and quarantine costs if diagnosed with COVID-19 during the trip.

As with numerous countries around the world, in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Maldives closed its air and sea borders to tourist arrivals on March 27, halting the issuance of on-arrival visas until July 15.

The restrictions on international travel left Maldives' heavily tourism reliant economy in an extremely vulnerable state. In mid-April, the World Bank projected that Maldives would be the worst-hit economy in the South Asian region due to the pandemic.

Despite the lifting of restrictions, Maldives has noted a significant reduction in tourist arrivals compared to pre-COVID figures, with the ministry revealing that only 13,516 visitors were recorded between July 15 and September 8.

However, Minister of Tourism Dr Abdulla Mausoom has stated that the government is expecting an additional 100,000 tourist arrivals before year-end.