Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation announced on Wednesday night that efforts are underway to make arrangements for private jets to land in more airports across Maldives, as the state gears up to lift the lockdown measures implemented due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking at a virtual meeting held by the Parliament Committee on National Development and Heritage, State Minister of Transport Ahmed Zuhair stated that permission to accommodate private jets will be granted to airports that are prepared as per the ministry's guidelines, which follow International Air Transport Association (IATA), International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and Health Protection Agency (HPA) principles.
The state minister noted that these permits were being issued as it is more likely that Maldives will see more chartered flights and private jets landing compared to scheduled airline flights, during the initial period after lockdown restrictions are lifted.
Zuhair noted that various airlines have expressed interest in resuming flights to Maldives and have been communicating with the ministry to confirm a date when the borders will reopen.
However, he noted that flight operations will also depend on other countries opening their borders as well.
"I hope that we will be able to determine the demand within the next two to three weeks", Zuhair said.
Maldives closed its borders in March to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the country. Preparations are currently underway to open the borders and restart the tourism industry, with a safety guideline on how to minimise the risk of spread of virus.