Direct flights between Malé and Delhi being discussed

The Maldives deputy tourism minister has told Indian media that direct flights between Malé and Delhi will begin soon.

“The national carrier Island Aviation will be shortly operating chartered flights from here to our country. This is being done to provide direct flight service from here to Maldives to attract more tourists,” Hussain Lirar was reported as telling India’s Business Standard.

During a recent state visit to India, Maldives President Abdulla Yameen was said to have discussed the importance of introducing direct air links with Indian leaders.

The Maldives High Commissioner to India Mohamed Nasser, was also reported to have said that a road show would soon be launched in India to showcase future developments in the Maldives largest industry. Chinese arrivals account for around 25 percent of the current market share, compared with India’s 3.3 percent.

Similar roadshows were produced in China in 2012, following the explosion in Chinese tourist arrivals over the past five years.

The head of the Maldives national airline has told local media of plans to introduce direct flight between Malé and Indian capital New Delhi.

Abdul Haris, managing director of Island Aviation, told Haveeru that discussions were ongoing between Maldivian airline and an Indian aviation company. He said that feasibility studies – examining the likely profitability of the route – were underway.

Links between the Indian and Maldivian governments have of late experienced an improvement after rising tensions during the previous administration of Dr Mohamed Waheed.