Maafaru International Airport continues to up its take this holiday season with 95 jet landings so far in December 2020. The the number is expected to reach 100 by the end of the month and will look forward to a similar busy month in January 2021 where the airport will carry on to handle private jets at its full capacity.
Mumthaz Ali, General Manager of Maafaru International Airport highlighted that the airport welcomed 15 private jets in July, 14 jets in August and 13 jets in September. While the number of jet landings spiked to 41 in October, the number went on the rise to 65 private jets in the month of November. This is a 59% increase.
The airport witnessed a busy day with 20 jet landings on 26th December 2020. So far this month, Maafaru International Airport has welcomed an average of 7 jets a day. Maafaru International Airport has the capacity to park 10 jets at a given time. However, with the increase in demand this holiday season, the jets have been diverted to other regional airports for parking.
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. According to Island Aviation, the airport has seen a steady increase in the number of jet landings since the border reopening.
Travelers arriving by private jets has been permitted to enter the country since 1st June 2020. Since it is the peak season of the destination, the number of private jets arriving in the Maldives is projected to increase further.
Maldives tourism continues to grow with the season with 542,287 tourist arrivals as of 27th December 2020. The destination has welcomed a total of 159,440 tourists since border reopening.
Maafaru airport was developed with a grant aid of US$ 60 million from the United Arab Emirates’s (UAE) Abu Dhabi Fund for Development. The airport was developed by a Singaporean company. The airport boasts a 2,200-meter long runway and is 40 meters wide with a state-of-the-art terminal with a VIP lounge. The airport can land large aircrafts such as Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 and is managed by Maldivian.
Photo credits: Dynamyst