The Edition


Almost all pre-pandemic airlines resume operations to VIA

Shahudha Mohamed
07 January 2021, MVT 17:26
Flight crew of Maldivian airlines at Velana International Airport (VIA). PHOTO: MALDIVIAN
Shahudha Mohamed
07 January 2021, MVT 17:26

Most of the international airlines that operated scheduled flights to Maldives prior to the COVID-19 pandemic have now resumed flight operations to Velana International Airport (VIA).

According to Maldives Airports Company Ltd (MACL), over 30 airlines, out of the pre-pandemic 35, are now operating flights to the island nation's main airport.

The Maldivian government reopened its borders on July 15 with just four airlines, following a period of international travel restrictions spanning nearly four months. Six months after the border reopening, the situation in travel has almost reverted back to what it was before the border closure.

MACL revealed that four more airlines are expected to resume flights to Maldives within the upcoming month.

Many airlines began scheduled flights to Maldives for the archipelago's peak tourism season.

While tourist arrivals boomed in December 2020, popular resorts reported to be fully booked throughout January as well.

At the moment, Maldives is recording a daily average of 3,000 to 5,000 tourist arrivals -- a notable figure considering the trenches that the industry fell into mid-2020.

Despite the entire industry screeching to a halt due to preventive measures taken to curb the spread of the virus, Maldives hit its target for 500,000 tourists in 2020, with an impressive recovery curve.

With renewed hope, the government expects to attract over 1.5 million tourists in 2021. Minister of Tourism Dr Abdulla Mausoom, on several occasions, stated that this year would be a "very successful" year for Maldivian tourism.