Velana International Airport Welcomes the first Chinese Airline after Covid19
After a gap of three years, direct flights from China to Maldives has resumed, today. Beijing Capital Airline is the first Chinese airline to land at Velana International Airport (VIA) since China suspended direct flights due to Covid-19 pandemic.
The first flight carrying 198 Chinese tourists was welcomed at VIA with a water salute and traditional Boduberu Dance.
Minister of tourism, Chinese Ambassador to the Maldives, Managing Director of MMPRC, Deputy Managing Director of MACL along with tourism industry stakeholders were present at the welcoming event.
The arrival of Beijing Capital Airlines at VIA is expected to boost Maldives tourism and economic growth. The airline which will fly fifteen flights for the season is also expected to add more in the coming months. These flights will allow travelers easy and affordable access to one of the world's most vibrant destination, the Maldives. At present Beijing Capital Airlines flights are scheduled till March 2023, and flights are expected to increase on demand from Chinese travelers. The Chinese carrier will fly an Airbus A330-300 with a seating capacity of 306 passengers. The airline serves over 65 destinations throughout 12 countries.
Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Chinese market was one of the Maldives' most significant tourism market. Flights between China and the Maldives resumed after the Chinese government lifted the quarantine regulation.
In addition, China Eastern Airlines will resume flights to the Maldives on January 28, 2023. Every Saturday, the airline will fly from Shanghai Pudong International Airport to VIA. They will use an Airbus A330-200 with a seating capacity of 232 passengers.
To cater for the increasing number of airlines operating to VIA, Maldives Airports Company Ltd (MACL), the operator of VIA, has been working closely with industry stakeholders to enhance the operations with existing arrival and departure terminal upgrading works. Overall, the developments at VIA are a major step forward for the Maldives' tourism industry and will help to ensure that travelers can visit the Maldives safely and conveniently during this peak month.