Airfrance to introduce scheduled flights to Maldives, says President

French flag carrier airline Airfrance is in the process of introducing scheduled flights to the Maldives in late 2012, President Mohamed Nasheed announced yesterday in his weekly radio address.

Delivering the radio address Friday morning shortly after his return from an official visit to France last week, President Nasheed said he met the Vice-President of Airfrance and was informed that preliminary preparations for the scheduled flights would take six months.

“Nevertheless, we expect that God willing an Airfrance scheduled flight will begin operations to the Maldives in Europe’s winter of 2012,” he said.

The government delegation also met with French tour operators to discuss ways to increase tourist arrivals from France, Nasheed added.

Prominent resort businessman and Independent MP Ahmed ‘Sun Travel’ Shiyam was part of the Maldives delegation.

“As you know, at the moment about 40,000 tourists from France visit the Maldives [annually],” Nasheed said. “Our aim is to double that figure and undertake efforts to attract French tourists in the same numbers as British tourists come to the Maldives right now.”

Tourist arrivals reached a record high in 2010 with 791,917 arrivals, a 20 percent increase compared to 2009. Tourists from the United Kingdom accounted for 15 percent of the total arrivals at 118,961.

While arrivals from France were considerably lower than England or the UK as a whole, the French market grew by nine percent in 2010 from the previous year. Some 50,373 French tourists visited the Maldives in 2009.

The Maldives meanwhile signed the Paris-Nairobi Initiative during the visit, Nasheed continued, which would facilitate French assistance for renewable energy programmes and adaptation measures for beach erosion.

Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, the French Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development, Transport and Housing.President Nasheed signed the accord on behalf of the Maldives at a meeting with Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, the French Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development, Transport and Housing.

The Maldivian delegation also met with senior officials of the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), a French bilateral development finance institution, who “gave the green light” for more water and sewerage projects in addition to the sewerage projects AFD has undertaken in Gaaf Dhaal Thinadhoo and Laamu Gan.

“Additionally, good discussions took place with the French Foreign Minister,” Nasheed continued. “He welcomed our standing together with France on the issue of Libya. I thanked the French government on behalf of the Maldivian people for their efforts to help the people of Libya.”


10 thoughts on “Airfrance to introduce scheduled flights to Maldives, says President”

  1. this guy went to France saying to bring something and brought nothing... and this is what he comes up with. Pathetic

  2. Mr President, did you ask the French Foreign minsiter to make maldivians visa free for the Schengen countries? That could have been something big and worthy you could have done during this trip.

  3. I hope the travel agents in France advise the unsuspecting tourists that the Islamic Republic of Maldives does not allow the importation of bibles, christian icons, alcohol or pork products. Bring these in and you risk getting locked up.
    Schengen countries should not be visa free for Maldivians...........because you have backward and discriminatory religious laws in your country.............still in the stone age I'm afraid. Next you will ask for visa free travel for Somalians and Pakistanis. Get real.

  4. Last I heard Uk was considering to cancel visa free travel for maldivians. There're many folks from maldives being sent back from Heathrow for not having valid vist purpose.
    Forget Schengen! Maldives is not an important country which would benefit EU in anyway with visa free privilege.

  5. To see Gayoom at the helm of a party is the biggest joke in town. The people of Maldives had rejected this monster before and they will do it again and again. Why waste the time of the youth. Lets get rid of this crook once for all.

  6. Is Ilyas trying to bring Gayoom back to power?. I guess they just can't stand the stride the country is taking under President Nasheed.

  7. This means that Air France will open its office here and at least some Maldivians will get job there. Flight from France also means that we will get more tourists from there meaning more money to Maldives.

  8. aa on Sun you are the only one who understands. Somebody brings religion inside. Hes brain is short. And yes why Anni is not fighting for the maldives that they can travel free in europe. Maldivians we can not compair with other countrys. this is what is has to do. And france people why they should come here? they have everythig what they need. and cheeper!!!!!! second rajapaksa

  9. This is great news ! We are sending a lot of tourists to the Beautiful Maldives. A lot of them come from France. We would be very happy to have a direct Air France flight out of Paris, as today there is only a charter (XL Airways) providing a direct flight to Malé.
    French travellers are there obliged to travel through Dubai, Muscat, Doha and Colombo. If the price is around 800 euros, I think this will greatly help to increase the number of tourists.
    The Maldives is one of the best destination in the world and we are proud in our company to be able to send tourist to the Island nation and even prouder if this can help the locals by creating jobs in airports, hotels ... All the Best to the MALDIVES !


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