Indian airline Kingfisher has applied for permission to launch a daily flight between Male’ and Mumbai from mid-March, reports Indian travel media.
The move would coincide with growing interest in the Maldives in the Indian tourism market, and the competitive off-season in the island nation during the European summer.
Air India flies daily to Bangalore and also runs a daily flight to Trivandrum.
Low-cost carrier SpiceJet has previously received permission to fly to the Maldives, however it has not made use of this so far.
An inaugural charter flight from Mumbai, India to Seenu Atoll Gan arrived in the country on Sunday with 107 tourists, reports Haveeru.
The Kingfisher charter flight was organised by Indian travel agency Make My Trip in collaboration with the Maldives Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC).
The tourists were greeted upon arrival by Home Minister Mohamed Shihab, Indian Ambassador B M Muley and senior officials of MTDC and Gan Airport Company in a backdrop of traditional boduberu music.
While over a 1,000 Indian tourists have booked holidays at the Herethera resort, according to MTDC, the Kingfisher charter flights will operate bi-weekly on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
The travel agency meanwhile revealed that their goal was to bring over 6,000 Indian tourists to the Maldives – Indians currently account for just three percent of visitors to the country.
Previous charter flights from Italy and Germany introduced after the opening of Herethera in 2007 were short-lived and cancelled prematurely.