After the Maldives reopened borders on 15th of July, a total 39 private jets have arrived in the island nation; 30 to Velana International Airport and 9 to Maafaru International Airport.
Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL) has revealed this is a lower number compared to other years in this period. However, since the peak season of the destination is approaching, the number of private jets arriving in the Maldives with tourist are projected to increase. During the peak season of every year, the number of jets to the country greatly increase. In fact, some days even 15 jets land in the island nation.
According to Island Aviation, the 9 private jets to Maafaru International Airport carried a total of 89 tourists. Opened in 2019, the Maafaru Airport was a groundbreaking investment for the development of the Noonu atoll and an economically beneficial project for the ongoing businesses as well as the luxury resort islands.
Travellers arriving by private jet have been permitted to enter the country since 1st June 2020. State Minister of Transport Ahmed Zuhair had announced that permission to accommodate private jets will be granted to airports that are prepared as per the ministry’s guidelines, which follow International Air Transport Association (IATA), International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and Health Protection Agency (HPA) principles.
Sonu Shivdasani, CEO and joint creative director of Soneva stated in July that they specifically have eight enquiries for people who would like to travel on a private jet. He revealed that Soneva was in discussions with a private jet operator and will be scheduling four return flights between Mumbai to Malé from the end of July through August. Even during the lockdown period, Maldives was on top of the bucket list of many travellers.
Featured image: Maafaru International Airport / Photo by Dynamyst