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MEGA Maldives Launched Direct Flights Between Korea And Maldives



Maldives Promotion HouseMEGA Maldives Airlines today successfully launched a direct route to the Maldives from Incheon Korea. Carrying 158 passengers, the flight landed at a specially arranged time at Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA) at 09:00 AM, where the airport was in a festive mood in anticipation for this historical direct flight from Korea by a Maldivian airline.

The aircraft was greeted by water cannon salute arranged specially for the occasion by GMR and Fire and Rescue Services of Ibrahim Nasir International Airport along with celebrations of traditional Maldivian “Bodu Beru”. A welcoming committee greeted the passengers as they exited the aircraft. Many passengers stopped to take pictures with the members of the committee, and in front of the aircraft.

MEGA Maldives Airlines currently flies to Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai and have now introduced Seoul, Korea as its fourth and newest market.  All four of the airlines’ routes are to markets with fast growing demand, but that previously had no direct flights. This is a reflection of MEGA Maldives Airlines’ commitment to developing new markets and the overall growth of tourism in the Maldives.

Today’s event was concluded by a joint press briefing by MEGA Maldives Airlines, MMPRC, GMR and was chaired by Minister of Transport and Communication, Adil Saleem, who reiterated the government’s support for development of Maldivian Aviation. The Minister also used the opportunity to support the Civil Aviation Bill currently in the parliament, which is important to allow the country’s aviation industry to grow in line with the market and the pressures on the regulator.

“Korea is a natural extension of our Asian services and is reflective of the Asian growth in the Maldivian market. Korea is a great launching point for further operations in North East Asia including Japan and beyond. When MEGA Maldives Airlines enters a new market, we are not just advertising our flights, but the entire idea, the very feasibility and attractiveness of travel to the Maldives,” CEO of MEGA Maldives Airlines, George Weinmann said.

“Our slogan is ‘MEGA Maldives: Paradise In Reach…’ Aside from the economic contribution we make to the Maldivian aviation industry and the economy as a whole, the de facto role an international airline plays as a marketing platform is one major reason why many governments around the world pay great attention to their hometown airline development. When we open up a new market it dramatically increases the media coverage and market awareness of the Maldives as a destination. Not to mention the convenience provided by a direct flight on a good schedule,” he added.

“Korea has tremendous potential. It is one of the strongest economies in Asia and people there enjoy outbound travel a great deal. There are dozens of flights per week between Korea and Thailand and up to 5 flights per day between Korea and Hawaii. An interesting fact is that Hawaii is the same distance from Korea as the Maldives is from Korea – the overall holiday vacation price point is very similar. It will take time to develop the Korean market, but with proper cultivation by all parties, we believe Maldives can attract a substantially larger share of Korean traffic in the future,” he noted.

Korea as an up and coming market to the Maldives, with Korean arrivals jumping from 16,000 to 24,000, from 2009 to 2010. That is a 54 percent increase in a single year. “We look forward to cooperating with our colleagues in Ministry of Transport and Communication, CAD, MMPRC, Tourism Ministry, MATI, MATATO, GMR and, of course, our Korean partners and agencies to develop this new opportunity” Weinmann said.

MEGA Maldives Airlines schedule, which offers an attractive early morning arrival and evening departure, has been carefully designed to offer travellers maximum leisure time at the sunny side of life. In fact, Korean travellers can take advantage of the overnight flights in both directions, offering them a full extra day in the Maldives.

Korea will be the first of a set of new routes MEGA Maldives will be expanding this fall and winter. The airline expects to add up to 5 additional new cities, bringing the total network up to 10 cities by year end. Mega Maldives Airlines is also in the process of bringing two additional wide body aircrafts into the fleet.

MEGA Maldives Airlines will operate a scheduled return service from Incheon (Seoul), Korea to Male’, Maldives every 5 days using a Boeing 767-300ER aircraft , configured with 12 Business Class seats, 42 Premium Economy seats and 196 Economy Class seats in three sections. Departures from Incheon are early Sunday morning at 00:05 AM, arriving the same day at 5:20 AM and return flights from Malé are on Thursday evenings at 20:00, arriving the next morning at 8:50 AM.


Crossroads Maldives appoints Frederic Lebegue as General Manager of Hard Rock Hotel  Maldives



Crossroads Maldives has announced the appointment of Mr. Frederic Lebegue as the  General Manager of Hard Rock Hotel Maldives. With a distinguished career spanning over four  decades, Mr. Lebegue brings a wealth of experience and an impressive track record of success  in the dynamic realm of the hospitality industry. 

Hailing from France, Mr. Lebegue is renowned for his value-driven leadership approach, and his  ability to foster development within diverse multicultural teams. His illustrious career includes  pivotal leadership roles at esteemed properties such as Paradis Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa,  Dinarobin Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa, and Harmonie Golf & Beach Estate in Mauritius, as  Cluster General Manager, Hilton Fiji Beach Resort & Spa Fiji Islands, Double Tree by Hilton Fiji,  Sonaisali Island as Cluster General Manager, and Hilton Cabo Verde Sal Resort, and Conrad Bali  in Indonesia, as General Manager. 

His invaluable expertise has also significantly contributed to the Maldives tourism industry,  notably during his tenure as General Manager at Waldorf Astoria Maldives (JA Manafaru Maldives), and as the Director of Operations at Conrad Maldives, Rangali Island. Mr. Lebegue’s  ability to orchestrate high-performing teams that resonate with the unique rhythm of Hard Rock  culture and the wealth of Maldives’ experience he brings as a seasoned senior hospitality  professional are truly remarkable. 

Mr. Lebegue has consistently demonstrated his expertise in driving commercial, financial, and  sustainable performance. His accomplishments extend beyond the conventional notes,  encompassing successful tenures at renowned properties, large-scale renovation projects,  innovative team development strategies, and the implementation of resonant corporate social  responsibility programs. Beyond the spotlight of his professional accolades, Mr. Lebegue is not  just a maestro in the hospitality industry; he is a dedicated advocate for community initiatives.  As a board member actively engaged with various foundations supporting education and  sustainability goals, he sets a standard that perfectly harmonizes with the ethos of the Hard  Rock brand as well as one of the core pillars of sustainability goals for the brand – Save the  Planet.  

“We are turning up the volume of excitement as Mr. Lebegue joins us at Hard Rock Hotel  Maldives. His extensive experience, strategic vision, and unwavering commitment to excellence  will be the driving force behind the continued success and growth of our Hard Rock Hotel  Maldives,” stated Mr. Michael Marshall, Chief Executive Officer, and Graham Kiy, Area Vice  President Hotel Operations EMEA – Hard Rock International. “We eagerly anticipate the positive  impact of this much-anticipated addition to our leadership team.” 

Hard Rock Hotel Maldives is gearing up for a new era of excellence under Mr. Lebegue’s  guidance, where his passion for the industry will be the main riff in delivering unparalleled  guest experiences. This appointment marks a key chord in the brand’s commitment to providing  a rockin’ stay in the heart of the Maldives.

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Rashid Ahmadzada appointed as Executive Sous Chef at Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa



Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa has announced the appointment of Rashid Ahmadzada as the new Executive Sous Chef. With an impressive fifteen years of culinary expertise, Rashid brings a wealth of experience and a passion for creating exceptional dishes that reflect culinary excellence. 

Before joining, Rashid served as Chef De Cuisine at JW Marriott Absheron in Azerbaijan and held various positions in well-established properties across Kazakhstan and Montenegro, consistently delivering outstanding service throughout his career. He is also known for his leadership in the kitchen, embracing his culinary team to achieve collective goals as a team. He is committed to continuously improving through active participation in various training programs and exposures. His dedication to culinary arts aligns seamlessly with Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa’s promises to provide unparalleled dining experiences with Back to Basic twist boasting across seven dining outlets, In Villa Dining, the curated Destination Dining, as well as banquet and catering. 

Beyond the kitchen, Rashid enjoys playing chess, curling himself in good books, and maintaining his fitness through regular exercise. Despite being away from his family, he is excited to embark on this new chapter in the Maldives, captivated by the beauty of the beach and its sunny weather.

Rashid Ahmadzada will be working alongside Executive Chef Riccardo Pinna, and both chefs are enthusiastic about elevating the culinary offerings at Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa. Together, they aim to bring innovative and delectable dining experiences to guests, making the resort the preferred destination for not only the beauty of its island but also its culinary excellence.

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Simon Joublanc takes the helm as Executive Chef at Baglioni Maldives



Baglioni Maldives Luxury has announced the appointment of Simon Joublanc as its new Executive Chef. With a culinary career spanning over two decades and a diverse portfolio that includes renowned establishments such as Gordon Ramsay’s Michelin-Starred restaurants, Hilton, Marriott, InterContinental, and Six Senses, Joublanc brings a wealth of experience and innovation to his new role.

Originally hailing from France, Joublanc discovered his passion for the culinary arts early on. His journey began with formal education in Hospitality Administration and Management at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America, setting the stage for a remarkable career trajectory.

Joublanc’s dedication to his craft became evident during his tenure as Sous Chef at Gordon Ramsay’s esteemed establishments, where he honed his skills and developed a keen understanding of the finer aspects of culinary excellence. His culinary journey has taken him across continents, leaving an indelible mark on some of the world’s most renowned luxury hospitality brands.

In his new role as Executive Chef at Baglioni Maldives, Joublanc will spearhead menu designs and introduce innovative concepts aimed at elevating the overall guest experience. His responsibilities extend to providing strategic direction for all culinary operations within the resort, ensuring a seamless fusion of flavors that resonate with the resort’s commitment to luxury and excellence.

Known for fostering high-performance teams and a commitment to unique food presentation, Joublanc brings a distinctive touch to every culinary endeavor. His previous role as Executive Chef at Six Senses in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia showcased his ability to seamlessly integrate local flavors with international culinary trends, creating a harmonious culinary experience for guests.

Baglioni Maldives is poised to benefit significantly from Joublanc’s culinary expertise, as the resort continues to position itself as a premier destination for luxury, relaxation, and gastronomic indulgence. Guests can anticipate an array of meticulously crafted dishes that reflect Joublanc’s dedication to culinary innovation and excellence.

The appointment of Simon Joublanc reflects Baglioni Maldives’ commitment to providing guests with an unparalleled dining experience, reaffirming its status as a top-tier luxury destination in the Maldives.

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