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.

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