Hong Kong Airlines to resume Maldives operations in January 2018 with scheduled service
Hong Kong Airlines has announced the resumption of its operations to the Maldives with a scheduled service starting January 2018.
The airline operated a charter service between Hong Kong and Male in 2011. Plans to launch scheduled service in 2013 did not materialise.
In a statement, Hong Kong Airlines said Monday that it would operate a three-time weekly service to the Maldives from January 16, 2018.
“The Maldives represents the perfect getaway for a growing number of travellers, having enjoyed a 5.9% year-on-year growth during the first eight months of 2017, according to official statistics by the Ministry of Tourism (Republic of Maldives). Hong Kong Airlines is looking to meet this demand, as we strive to provide customers from Hong Kong and beyond with more choices than before,” Wayne Wang, Assistant Director of Commercial at Hong Kong Airlines, was quoted in the statement, as saying.
According to the airline, an Airbus A330-300 aircraft, which features a two-class configuration, including 32 full-flat seats in Business Class and 260 seats in Economy Class, will be used for the service. Flights will depart from Hong Kong to the Maldives main Velana International Airport every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, it added.
Hong Kong Airlines joins Cathay Pacific as the only two airlines offering direct flights between the Maldives and Hong Kong. However, several other airlines, including Malaysian low-cost carrier AirAsia serve the sector via transit routes.
Established in 2006, Hong Kong Airlines boasts an ever-expanding international network covering nearly 40 destinations across Asia Pacific and North America. The airline also maintains codeshare and interline agreements with 94 airline partners.
Hong Kong Airlines, which has its main hub at Hong Kong International Airport, operates an all-Airbus fleet, comprising 31 passenger aircraft and four freighters. With an average age of around five years, the airline has one of the youngest and modern fleets in the world, as it progressively takes delivery of 21 Airbus A350 aircraft.
Direct flights between the Maldives and Hong Kong are expected to give a much needed boost to tourist arrivals from North East Asia, especially from Hong Kong and mainland China as well.
China, which still remains the single biggest source market to the Maldives, has observed major declines over the past year, with arrivals decreasing by 9.1 percent in the first eight months of this year compared to the same period of last year.