New F&B complex at Maldives main airport opens with intl fast food outlets

A new F&B complex at Maldives main Velana International Airport opened on Wednesday with several outlets of popular international fast food brands.

At a special ceremony held at the airport Wednesday afternoon, economic minister Mohamed Saeed inaugurated the new waterfront F&B complex, which houses outlets of KFC, Pizza Hut, Costa Coffee and Harvest Market.

Adil Moosa, the Managing Director of state owned airport operator Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL), told attendees that current space limitations would not allow more brands to open their outlets at the airport. However, the brand new passenger terminal being developed at the airport would provide more space for additional F&B outlets, he added.

“We can’t match the demand at present,” Adil said.

MACL had signed an agreement early this year with global restaurateur HMSHost International to set up four international franchises, including KFC, Pizza Hut, Costa Coffee and Harvest Market at the airport.

These outlets are located in the new 14,000 square foot F&B complex, built using a prefabricated steel structure. The structure for the two-storey building was brought in from China, and was assembled by a Singaporean contractor.

The new waterfront F&B complex at Velana International Airport. PHOTO/ AVAS ONLINE

Velana International Airport already features a number of international fast food franchises, including Burger King, The Coffee Club, Thai Express, The Pizza Company and Dairy Queen. The outlets are managed by Thailand-based Minor International, which also operates five resorts in the Maldives.

Apart from these additions and minor improvements, a separate USD 800 million mega project has been launched to expand and upgrade the airport. The project involves building a brand new runwayan international passenger terminal and a seaplane terminal as well as other support facilities, including a fuel farm that can store 45 million litres and a 120,000 tonne cargo facility.

The airport is a key infrastructure that supports the Maldives multi-billion dollar tourism industry. Expansion of the airport is expected to boost tourist arrivals to the island nation as it aims to attract at least two million tourists by 2020.

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