Photo Credits | MACL

Male’ Maldives, 23rd October 2023  – Today, Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL), the operator of Velana International Airport (VIA), is thrilled to announce the successful inauguration of Virgin Atlantic, connecting London Heathrow to the Maldives. 

The inaugural flight touched down at VIA this morning at 07:40 am local time, marking the beginning of a new chapter in air travel between the United Kingdom and the Maldives. The arrival of the Virgin Atlantic aircraft was welcomed by a warm traditional Maldivian Bodeberu along with captivating cultural dance performances. 

The new service is operating three times a week, on the airline’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner boasting 31 Upper Class, 35 Premium, and 192 Economy Delight, Classic, and Light seats. 

For those customers looking to treat themselves, Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class offers fully flat beds and an onboard bar to enjoy dinner and an opportunity to network with travel companions. Premium customers can relax in their luxurious leather armchair with its 38” seat pitch and enjoy priority boarding and welcome drinks. No matter what cabin customers choose to fly, everyone can enjoy complimentary food and beverages, over 300 hours of entertainment, and a warm welcome from Virgin Atlantic’s iconic cabin crew. 

Mr. Mahjoob Shujau, CEO & Managing Director of MACL, said: 

“As the operator of Velana International Airport, we are excited to welcome the prestigious and customer-centric airline, Virgin Atlantic. This inaugural flight marks a significant milestone in the enhancement of air travel connections between the United Kingdom and the Maldives. 

“We look forward to a prosperous partnership with Virgin Atlantic as we continue to elevate the travel experience for our passengers.” 

Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic, commented: 

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to launch our flights between the United Kingdom and the Maldives with our new thrice-weekly service, as we continue to expand our growing collection of winter sun destinations.” 

“We are proud to be able to offer more opportunities for our customers to experience the Maldives and are looking forward to welcoming them to this breathtaking and one-of-a-kind destination.” 

“The collaboration between MACL and Virgin Atlantic reflects the shared commitment to delivering exceptional travel experiences and fostering stronger air connectivity between the United Kingdom and the Maldives.” 

Caron Rohsler, British High Commissioner to Maldives, added: 

“I am delighted that Virgin Atlantic has today started operating direct flights from London Heathrow to Maldives. 

“Maldives is a top holiday destination for British tourists. Brits have consistently featured among top 3 nationalities visiting Maldives for many years. 

“The UK Government has worked with the Government of Maldives for many years now on airport safety and aviation security. I look forward to continuing out partnerships in Maldives, especially as the airport expansion progresses. 

“Tourism is an important pillar of the Maldivian economy and I hope this milestone today will contribute to continued growth in convenient and comfortable travel between our countries. 

“Visitors are encouraged to read the FCDO’s travel advice and to buy travel insurance to enjoy the best possible holiday experience.” 

The Virgin Atlantic Inaugural event was attended by the British High Commissioner to the Maldives and senior members of MACL along with senior members of the local agent , Voyages Maldives. 

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