According to the Maldivian Minister of Tourism, Moosa Zameer, the Government has decided to increase air travel between the Maldives and China.
In an interview to Xinhua, Zameer noted that China is one of the leading markets for Maldivian tourism and that the Maldivian Government plans on increasing flights between the two countries by the end of the current year.
Over 104,000 tourists from China visited the Maldives between January and May of this year. The expansion of Velana International Airport is expected to cause this number to increase.
There are currently 13 weekly flights operating between the countries, with most of them being transit flights.
“Right now the European destinations are connected to the Maldives with the A380, which is the world’s largest commercial airbus. We are in talks to link Chinese cities to the Maldives through the A380 so passengers can enjoy direct facilities,” said Zameer, in his interview to Xinhua. “If there are no direct flights, it is not convenient for tourists. We have been trying hard to start operations with wide-body aircraft and we hope to start operations by the end of this year.”