The Edition


Silk Air resumes operations to Maldives

Shahudha Mohamed
03 December 2020, MVT 08:58
A SilkAir flight at Velana International Airport. PHOTO: MACL
Shahudha Mohamed
03 December 2020, MVT 08:58

Singapore-based airline Silk Air resumed flights to Maldives on December 1.

The regional carrier, managed under Singapore Airlines, will operate two weekly flights to Velana International Airport.

Silk Air began flights to Maldives in 2015 and operated 16 weekly flights between the two countries, before Maldives closed its borders from March 27 till July 15 amid the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

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.

However, the latest statistics released by authorities indicate that arrivals gradually increased every month following the reopening of borders, with figures expected to peak in the coming days.

Notably, 18 airlines have so far resumed operations to Maldives after the border reopening, including Qatar Airways, Etihad and Lufthansa.

The Ministry of Tourism also revealed that nine more airlines are slated to resume operations to the island nation this December.

Meanwhile, Minister of Tourism Abdulla Mausoom has expressed hopes for the industry's recovery, estimating that 100,000 tourists would visit Maldives before the end of 2020. The tourism ministry expects a total of 500,000 arrivals for the year.