President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom stated profits earned from Velana International Airport (VIA) would increase state revenue up to MVR 82 billion.
While speaking at the opening ceremony of VIA's new runway, the President said that the new runway would boost the status of the airport across the region.
The president claimed that if the current state revenue is at MVR 20 billion, once the project had reached completion, the potential revenue would amount to MVR 82 billion by 2023.
The new runway was inaugurated with the landing of Etihad's A380 Airbus, piloted by a local pilot Ali Ahsan on Tuesday. This marks the first time a heavy class aeroplane landed in Maldives
The historical moment was made even more special by the passengers onboard the A380, the Maldives National Football Team on their victorious homecoming as champions of the South Asian Football Federation Suzuki Cup 2018.
The 'Red Snappers', as the team is affectionately known, won their second SAFF Championship title after a 10-year hiatus with a score of 2-1 against India.
While addressing the gathering, President Yameen called the win "proof" that relentless determination and motivation would lead the way to victory.
He also expressed his gratitude towards the team for upholding the reputation of Maldives and for making the entire nation proud.
Prior to landing, the aircraft made a round trip circling the capital city Male, passing over the brand-new Sinamale' bridge, at an altitude of 1000 to 1500 feet.
The new 3400 feet runway is 60 meters in length and is specially designed for heavy-grade aircraft landing.
The runway project was developed by China's Beijing Urban Construction Group (BUCG) and funded by USD 373 million from China's Axim Bank loan.