Etihad Airways, a flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates, has resumed its commercial flight operations to the Maldives.
Etihad’s first flight to Male’ after an interruption of nearly four months landed at the Velana International Airport on Saturday afternoon.
The airline has announced it’ll be holding two weekly flights between Male’ and Abu Dhabi on its A320 planes.
The Maldives suspended the issuance of on-arrival of visa and closed its borders in face of the coronavirus pandemic on March 27.
Etihad had operated two daily flights between Male’ and Abu Dhabi before the closure of the borders.
The Maldives, one among the world’s most wanted tourist destinations, reopening its borders to international travel last week, on July 15.
Qatar Airways and SriLankan Airlines resumed operations the same day, while Emirates, another flag carrier for UAE, resumed operations the next day.
Additional airlines Gulf Air, British Airways, Hong Kong Airlines, IndiGo, Silk Air, and Singapore Airlines are scheduled to resume operations in August, while Edelweiss Air is about to start operations in September and Turkish Air in October.
After nearly 4 months the first commercial @etihad flight landed @VelanaAirport today.#HappyToSeeYouAgain pic.twitter.com/SALsKvEjd3— MACL (@MACLmedia) July 18, 2020
The Maldivian government has announced it expects to see 850,000 tourist arrivals this year, including the 382,762 tourist arrivals recorded before the closure of the borders – a significant blow to a country that had enjoyed a record 1.7 million tourist arrivals last year.
In an effort to boost the country’s travel and tourism industries, MACL has rolled out significant discounts for airlines and tourist service counters, while Maldives Marketing and PR Corporation (MMPRC) has launched a worldwide ad campaign with CNN to market the Maldives as a tourist destination.
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