Velana International Airport (VIA) achieved a new milestone on January 2, 2024, as it welcomed 649 seaplanes in a single day, surpassing last year’s record of 635. This impressive feat showcases the increasing popularity of the Maldives as a prime tourist destination.
The surge in the seaplane movement is attributed to the remarkable tourism growth witnessed in 2023, marking the highest number of visitors in the nation’s history. A total of 1,878,537 tourists visited the Maldives, solidifying its status as the World’s Leading Destination for the fourth consecutive year.
As the archipelago nation continues to attract travellers, VIA authorities advise passengers flying through the airport on January 7, 2024, to anticipate heavy traffic. The airport encourages international travellers to arrive at least three hours early to avoid long queues and potential delays.
Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA) is the biggest seaplane operator in the Maldives and has the world’s largest seaplane fleet. The new seaplane terminal, a USD 55 million (MVR 848 million) project by Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL), spans 3.2 hectares.