Get ready for your tropical escape to Maldives this winter season. Austrian Airlines to commence Vienna-Maldives flights from 25th October. In mid-December, the airline plans to add twice-weekly services to Maldives.
Austrian will serve about 60 destinations this winter – 20 fewer than the previous year – and routes will be operated with “substantially reduced frequencies”.
The airline’s long-haul network includes Bangkok, Chicago, Newark, Shanghai and Washington DC. In addition to Maldives route, the airlines plans to add twice-weekly services to Cape Town, and Mauritius in mid-December.
Lufthansa owned Austrian Airlines has introduced rapid pre-boarding coronavirus tests free to passengers on one of its routes as part of a group-wide plan to make such tests standard, the company said on 23rd October.
“We must break down the borders that corona has built up in recent months,” Chief Operating Officer Jens Ritter said in the statement, which acknowledged that for the time being these tests are no substitute for the standard PCR tests required by national authorities. Eventually we aim to also achieve the loosening of travel restrictions, but first we want to show how a targeted testing programme could work.”
Austrian aims to roll out testing more widely if it becomes well established, adding that the results from Vienna would inform Lufthansa’s general testing project.
Maldives reopened borders to all nationalities from 15th July 2020. All visitors are granted a 30-day free on-arrival visa with a confirmed booking for a stay at any registered tourist facility in the country.
Maldives has also extended ‘Split Stay’ for all types of tourist accommodation facilities, allowing tourists to split their stay between resort, hotels, guesthouses and live aboard boats, with prior approval as per split-stay procedure and guideline by the Ministry of Tourism.
While there is no mandatory quarantine or testing on arrival, tourists traveling to Maldives are required to complete an online health declaration form and provide a negative PCR test result taken at least 96 hours prior to their departure.
The negative PCR test result must be attached while completing Traveler Health Declaration form, which has to be submitted online via IMUGA (www.imuga.immigration.gov.mv), by all arriving passengers before arrival (but not exceeding 24 hours before arrival time).