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Universal Aviation Maldives to begin operations in November 2018

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US-based Universal Aviation has announced that its newest location, Universal Aviation Maldives will begin operations by the end of November 2018.

Universal Aviation Maldives is headquartered at the Maldives main Velana International Airport, and is a joint venture with Inner Maldives Holidays, a multi-award winning travel company providing tourism and travel services to the booming tourism industry in the Maldives since 1998.

“The Maldives area popular but potentially challenging destination for our clients, so it was important for us to identify a partner in Inner Maldives that will not only reduce our customers’ risk and stress on the ground but provide them with an unforgettable experience through pro-active trip management, versus relying solely on third-parties,” Greg Evans, Chairman at Universal, was quoted in a statement, as saying.

Universal Aviation Maldives’ main operation is located at the main airport island of Hulhule, but the company also provides supervisory services at all airports throughout the Maldives, including Gan International Airport in the southernmost Addu atoll, Villa International Airport in South Ari Atoll, and Hanimaadhoo International Airport in the northern Haa Dhaal atoll.

“Tourism is a major reason for much of the corporate jet aviation traffic to the Maldives,” Abdulla Ghiyas, Managing Director at Universal Aviation Maldives, said.

“Our team members are trained to Universal Aviation’s ground support standards, but are also experts in local tourism and can help arrange discounts for crews on local hotels, air transport, and tours.”

Upon opening, Universal Aviation Maldives will become Universal Aviation’s eighth location in the Asia-Pacific region.

“Universal Aviation Maldives will support local business aviation traffic but just as importantly will be a local advocate for the industry in the Maldives,” Charlie Mularski, Senior Vice President for International Operations at Universal, said.

“Our team will work closely with the Maldives government to identify opportunities to drive traffic, and improve infrastructure and access while also benefiting the local economy.”

Universal Aviation, the ground support division of Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc., has more than 40 locations in 20 countries, including 19 in the Asia-Pacific region with the addition of Universal Aviation Maldives. The Texas-headquartered company offers products and services including international flight planning and scheduling, weather briefings, fuelling programmes, aircraft ground handling and aviation security.

Inner Maldives Holidays is one of the pioneers in launching outbound packages and holidays in the Maldives offering exciting and discounted holidays to Sri Lanka, Dubai, Thailand, Malaysia, Turkey, Jordan, India, Indonesia, Bali, Krabi, Singapore, Hong Kong, Seychelles and many more.

The company, which currently has business operations in Dubai, Seychelles, Malaysia and Sri Lanka, has also won multiple international awards, and has been recognised as a leading wholesaler for inbound tourists into Maldives and leading FBO at the airport for private jets. It is also affiliated to its sister companies, including Ace Aviation Services Maldives, Ace Travels Maldives and Aitken Spence Maldives, representing major airlines and brands in the Maldives.

Velana International Airport serves as the main gateway to the Maldives, renowned world over for its unique natural beauty and luxury tourist resorts. More than 30 international airlines, including major players such as British Airways, SriLankan Airlines, Emirates and Etihad Airways, operate scheduled flights to the airport, carrying over a million tourists per annum from across the world to the island paradise.

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Maldives celebrates arrival of 2024’s 1 millionth tourist

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Maldives on Thursday welcomed the one millionth tourist to visit this year.

The one millionth tourist is a Thai named Sutapa Amonwivat, who arrived from Singapore with her husband and two children. This is her second visit to Maldives.

Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) and the Ministry of Tourism gave a warm welcome to Sutapa at the Velana International Airport (VIA) Thursday afternoon. She was welcomed at the VIA by tourism minister Ibrahim Faisal, MMPRC Managing Director Ibrahim Shiury and senior officials of various relevant agencies.

After welcoming her with traditional offerings, she was presented with various gifts by the ministry, MMPRC, customs, immigration, Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) and Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA).

Maldives reached one million tourists in June, three weeks earlier than last year. The number of tourists reached one million on July 16, 2023.

Maldives expects to reach 2 million tourists this year.

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New air route connects Chongqing to Maldives

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Chongqing Airlines on Monday began its inaugural flights to Maldives.

The Chongqing-Male route, scheduled three times a week, is expected to strengthen the bonds between China and the Maldives, opening up exciting new opportunities for tourism and cultural exchange.

The inaugural flight was welcomed upon its arrival at Velana International Airport (VIA) in Maldives, where local officials and tourism representatives expressed their enthusiasm for this new development.

“We warmly welcome our friends from China to our beautiful islands. This new connection strengthens our bonds and opens up new opportunities for tourism,” the tourism ministry said on X.

Maldives currently welcomes four airlines from China, including China Eastern, Beijing Capital Airlines, Xiamen Airlines.

In January, Maldives government urged tourism stakeholders in both Maldives and China to ramp up efforts to restore China’s position as the primary source market for Maldives tourism, a status held before the onset of Covid-19.

China, being the largest source market for Maldives tourism before the pandemic, saw a resumption of tourist arrivals from January 2023 after a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic. In 2023, the Maldives welcomed 187,118 Chinese tourists, marking a significant recovery in numbers. This year, the Maldives has welcomed the most number of tourists from China, with over 107,940 or 11.5 percent of total arrivals by June 12. 

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CROSSROADS Maldives Introduces Weixin Pay at resorts for seamless guest experience

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CROSSROADS Maldives has introduced WeChat Pay, widely known as Weixin Pay in China, across its world-class resorts, SAii Lagoon Maldives, Curio Collection by Hilton, and Hard Rock Hotel Maldives. This payment option is made available to enhance the convenience and overall experience for guests from China, making their stay in the Maldives more enjoyable and hassle-free.

Understanding the needs of the diverse guests, CROSSROADS Maldives has integrated WeChat Pay into operations, allowing guests from China to easily and securely conduct transactions using a payment method familiar to them. The introduction of WeChat Pay is a testament to CROSSROADS Maldives’ dedication to enhancing guest satisfaction by offering exceptional experiences at every turn. What is also expected through this initiative is that the guests could benefit from better foreign exchange rates, translating to better savings on their expenditures during their stay.

The option is available for guests in-house conveniently at both resorts as well as across the Marina at CROSSROADS Maldives where a wider variety of unparalleled dining and retail experiences are available for all guests. The day visitors from China will also therefore equally benefit from this new introduction at the Maldives’ premier multi-island integrated leisure destination.

SAii Lagoon Maldives, Curio Collection by Hilton, is a vibrant tropical escape that offers unique and locally inspired experiences. The resort features spacious rooms and villas, a variety of dining options, and an array of recreational activities designed to cater to the desires of modern travellers. Guests can escape to the island’s SAiisational natural beauty, enjoy water sports, and indulge in spa treatments, all while relishing the personalised service that defines Hilton’s Curio Collection.

Hard Rock Hotel Maldives brings the iconic Hard Rock spirit to the tranquil shores of the Maldives. This family-friendly resort offers a perfect blend of relaxation and entertainment, featuring music-inspired experiences, live performances, and the brand’s signature amenities. With luxurious accommodations, diverse dining options, and a plethora of activities for all ages, Hard Rock Hotel Maldives ensures an unforgettable holiday experience for every guest.

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