The top ten airlines for air traffic in and out of Male, Maldives are:
- Sri Lanka Airlines
- Qatar Airways
- Turkish Airlines
- Singapore Airlines
- Air India
- Mega Global Air Service
- Etihad Airways
For the International airport in Male, Maldives, the total number of passenger arrivals increased to 770,715 in the first seven months of the year, a 5.5 per cent rise compared with the same period 12 months ago.
Hussain Sharif, manager, airline strategy and key accounts from Maldives Airports Company, the company operating Velana International Airport (formerly known as Malé International Airport), says passengers from Europe and Asia-Pacific continue to account for the lion’s share of arrivals, but other emerging markets are gaining traction.
“Normally our targets range from Europe to the Far East, but with a change in the national tourism masterplan we need to ensure that everything is streamlined together,” says Sharif when he talked to Routes Online in Barcelona. “This means that new and emerging markets like India and Middle East are on the table for us.”
“For example, recently we have been getting high demand from low-cost carriers, but the number of properties in the budget market compared to high-end resorts is very low. Despite this, the demand for low-cost traveling into Maldives is growing day-by-day.”
Figures from OAG show that the number of available seats from India is up by almost 20 percent in 2017 while the capacity rise from the Middle East is 5 percent. In October Indian low-cost carrier Go Air is expected to start services between Mumbai and Malé, just one of the airport’s latest route announcements.
Overall capacity at VIA has increased by more than one million over the past five years, from 5.1 million available seats in 2013 to an expected 6.2 million in 2017. To help cope with this demand, the airport is currently embarking on a massive infrastructure development.
Beijing Urban Construction Group is currently building a new 3,400-meter-long, 60-meter-wide runway that will mean the airport will be able to accommodate the Airbus A380. In addition to this, Saudi Binladin Group is to design and construct a new state of the art new international terminal building capable of handling 7.5 million passengers per year.