'No plans to increase airfares,' says IAS

Island Aviation Services (IAS) has said the company has no plans to raise the airfare for domestic and international flights due to the hike in oil prices. IAS manages the national carrier, Maldivian.

The Russia-Ukraine war has pushed global oil prices to new highs. The current price of a barrel of crude oil is USD 130 in the international market.

Speaking to AVAS, the company's Deputy Managing Director Aishath Jennifer said the significant changes to oil prices would cause losses to the company. As of now, the company has no plans to increase ticket prices, she said. However, further increases in oil prices may cause some changes, she added.

IAS generates good revenue through providing services to international airlines. Noting that global airlines are taking measures in light of the Russia-Ukraine war, the losses to IAS will increase due to these steps, said Jennifer. However, the extent of the losses can only be assessed after monitoring the situation, she said.

'Russia's national carrier, Aeroflot, has also stopped operation to the Maldives. If other airlines follow suit, we will face significant losses,' Jennifer said.

When asked what the company's plans are if the situation continues to go downhill, Jenifer said if it comes to such a situation, the Government would intervene and provide assistance. Currently, she said there are no particular plans to mitigate losses.

The Maldives government provided financial assistance to IAS in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic to mitigate losses.

Maldivian is the only airline that operates to all destinations in the Maldives. The company is also in charge of managing some local airports.