10 additional airlines will begin operation to Maldives during Europe’s winter season.
While winter will begin in europe in December, airlines from popular markets such as China and Italy will begin operation, including China Southern and Italy Niores. Austria’s flag carrier, Austrian Airlines, Seychelles’ flag carrier Air Seychelles as well as Russia’s Azur and Novind, Bahrain’s Gulf Air, German airline Lufthansa as well as UAE’s Fly Dubai and Indian low-cost airline Go Air are expected to commence operation.
Austrian Airlines said the airline will begin operating two weekly flights between Vienna and Velana International Airport from October 25. Lufthansa, Novind and FlyDubai are expected to follow behind on October 27. India’s GoAir will commence operation on November 1. Air Seychelles will commence operation between South Africa’s Johannsburg and VIA from December 4.
The frequency of flights currently operating to the Maldives is also being increased, including Emirates Airline. Emirates will be operating three weekly flights while Russia’s Aeroflot will increase the number of weekly flights from three to four. 11 airlines currently operate to the Maldives.
The Maldives closed its borders to tourists on March 27 as a precautionary measure against COVID-19. The tourism-dependent archipelago reopened its borders on July 15.
While the number of flights operating to the Maldives has increased significantly, VIA has been providing incentives to encourage more flight operations. In this regard, large discounts have been applied on ground handling and landing and take off fees, as well as parking fees.
Over 27,000 tourists have visited the Maldives since then. The Tourism Ministry expects 100,000 tourists to visit the Maldives during the remainder of the year, and 750,000 tourists next year. 50 percent of available tourist beds are now in operation, and local guest houses have also been permitted to resume operation.