Shanghai Airlines starts direct flights to INIA

Shanghai Airlines, a subsidiary of China Eastern Airlines, has started direct flights from Shanghai to Ibrahim Nasir International Airport.

According to a statement released by Maldives Airports Company the B767 aircraft which has capacity for 200 passengers is scheduled to fly three times weekly until the end of the winter season.

With the Chinese tourist market the fastest growing in the world, Chinese travellers now make up 30 percent of all visitors to the Maldives.

MACL reported that the Shangahi Airlines had in previous years flown to the Maldives for this period, but only on a schedule of two flights per week.

While British Airways has decided to suspend summer flights to the Maldives, German national carrier Lufthansa is to start scheduled flights to the country from December 2015.


British Airways stops summer flights to the Maldives

British Airways (BA) has decided to suspend summer flights to the Maldives, as well as cancelling flights to Colombo, Sri Lanka, the Telegraph reports.

“British Airways will continue flying between London Gatwick and Malé. However, the service will be operational only during the winter… to cater to the high leisure travel demand.” a BA spokesman is reported to have said.

The airline has assured all customers affected that a full refund will be issued and has apologised for any inconvenience caused as a result of the changes in flight schedules.

BA began three scheduled flights between Ibrahim Nasir International Airport ( (INIA) and Gatwick London Airport in 2009.

Meanwhile, airport officials last week announced that German airline Lufthansa is to start scheduled flights to INIA from next December, while the national carrier Maldivian airlines’ new A321 is due to arrive in the country next week.

Source: Telegraph


German airliner Lufthansa to start scheduled flights to Maldives

German national carrier Deutsche Lufthansa AG is to start scheduled flights to the Maldives from December 2015.

Plans to start the flights by Europe’s largest airline were revealed at a special ceremony held yesterday (January 8 ) at Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA) by Maldives Airports Company Limited’s (MACL) Managing Director ‘Bandu’ Ibrahim Saleem.

Speaking at the ceremony, local media reported Saleem as saying that Lufthansa will be operating flights to the Maldives starting from December 9 this year, and that these flights will provide many benefits to the tourism industry.

Aviation website reported that the flights are part of a “jump” network project by Lufthansa, with the Maldives, Mauritius, and Mexico the initial destinations.

Also speaking at the ceremony, Tourism minister Ahmed Adeeb said one of the biggest aims of nationalising INIA was to bring bigger airlines into the Maldives, adding that 2014 had been one of the best years for Maldives tourism.

INIA was leased out to Indian Infrastructure giant GMR under a US$500 million contract in 2010 before the following government deemed the deal ‘void ab-initio’ in 2012. GMR have subsequently won an arbitration case leaving the Government of Maldives liable for an amount that could reach up to US$803 million.

“Lufthansa airline is one of the top airlines in Europe. They have previously operated some charter flights to the Maldives, but this is the first time they will be starting scheduled flights,” local media reported Adeeb as saying.

Adeeb also said that one of the most prominent requests made by European tourists is to set up more direct flights to the Maldives without having to transit in the Middle East, and that the request would be addressed by Lufthansa flying to the Maldives directly from Frankfurt, Germany.

According to the tourism ministry, 527,274 European tourists landed in the Maldives last year – amounting to 47 percent of total arrivals. The European airline with the most arrivals was Turkish Airlines with 33,303 arrivals followed by British Airways with 25,798 arrivals.

The industry received a record-breaking of 1.2 million in 2014.

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