On Sunday, the Maldives aviation officials has announced that 10 international flights are expected to land at Velana International Airport daily after reopening its borders in July.
Speaking at the Parliament’s State-owned Enterprises Committee meeting, Ibrahim Hussein, terminal manager said that several airlines had applied for slots from July. He further added that starting from July 1, SriLankan Airlines wants to operate three daily flights between Colombo and Male, while Qatar Airways plans to fly once a day on the Doha-Male sector.
However, most airlines wants to begin flights from July 15. That include:
- Emirates: one daily
- Etihad Airways: twice a week
- Hong Kong Airlines: twice a week
- IndiGo: two daily
- Singapore Airlines: one daily
- Silk Air: two daily
- Turkish Airlines: five days a week, two services per day
According to Moosa Solih, acting Managing Director of Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL), regular international flights operating before the pandemic wants to resume a limited number of services. He said that the airlines are waiting for the official date and final decision to be taken at national level.
While MACL expects to resume operations with 10 daily international flights, domestic flight operations are expected to fall within the range of 15 to 20 daily flights.
“We expect flight movements to be three times lower than during peak season,” said Terminal Manager Ibrahim Hussain.
Solih also highlighted that the health and safety measures taken due to the pandemic will decrease number of international arrivals from 1000 to 570 and departures from 1,200 to 750.
There are several precaution measures installed to prepare for the reopening of the borders in July. Blue markers with three feet apart, are in place in front of ticketing and check-in counters, and at the pre-flight inspection zone in the international terminal, as well as in front of the check-in counters in the domestic terminal at the Velana International Airport. Furthermore, glass separators of four feet have also been installed in between all check-in counters. Along with physical distancing, hygienic measure is a must which includes daily disinfection of all seats, desks, lounge areas, ticketing and check-in counters, and flooring and airport tarmac area.