Russia’s Nordwind Airlines to begin Maldives flights on Oct 27

Russia’s Nordwind Airlines is set to begin flight operations to the Maldives with two weekly service.

From October 27, the Russian leisure airline will operate a flight on every Tuesday and Friday to Velana International Airport from Sheremetyevo Alexander S. Pushkin International Airport.

A Boeing 777-200 aircraft will be used for the service.

Nordwind primarily operates service between airports in Russia and holiday destinations around the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean.

It serves 98 destinations in 28 countries including nine countries and 23 cities in Europe, eight countries and 12 cities in the Middle East and Africa, four countries and four cities in South America, and six countries and 14 cities in Asia.

The announcement comes as Russia’s Aeroflot prepares to increase the frequency on the Moscow-Male route from two flights per week to four times a week.

The Russian flag carrier had in September resumed its Maldives service after a three-month-long suspension of operations due to lockdowns imposed by both Russian and Maldivian authorities to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

Expanding air connectivity between Moscow and Male will be a major boost to the Maldives’ efforts to revive the country’s tourism-dependent economy after reopening its borders on July 15.

Tourism promotion authorities in Maldives have also launched an advertising campaign on a leading TV channel in Russia.

Russian tourists accounted for over 74,000 or close to five per cent of Maldives’ foreign visitors last year, the sixth biggest market after China, India, Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom.

Before the current coronavirus pandemic, Aeroflot was operating daily flights between Moscow Sheremetyevo and Velana International Airport in Male.

With the border reopening, 30-day free on-arrival visa is issued to all tourists with a confirmed booking for a stay at any registered tourist facility in the country.

There is no mandatory quarantine or testing on arrival, but tourists have to complete an online health declaration form and provide a negative PCR test result taken at least 96 hours prior to their departure.

Visitors with symptoms of the Covid-19 respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus or those travelling with someone who has similar symptoms are also tested at their own expense.

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