Record number of private jets arrive at main international airport

A record number of private jets have landed at Velana International Airport (VIA) thus far this month.

Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL) said the number of private jets landing at VIA has been increasing since the Maldives reopened its borders to tourists on July 15. In this regard, 126 private jets have landed at the country’s main international airport thus far in October, said MACL.

MACL shared statistics of private jets that landed at the airport since border reopening. While 28 jets arrived in the Maldives during the last 15 days of July, 59 private jets arrived in August, and the figure increased to 60 in September. This month’s figure of 126 is a significant increase compared to the previous months, said MACL.

A total of 273 jets have landed at VIA since border reopening. The airport received the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC)’s Safe Tourism stamp last month.

The Maldives closed its borders to tourists on March 27 as a precautionary measure against COVID-19. Although the government initially expected over 800,000 tourist arrivals for the rest of the year, the number has since been revised to 100,000. While 9000 tourists have visited the tourism-dependent archipelago until now, arrivals are expected to increase during the last few months of the year.