Maldives sees surge in private jet arrivals ahead of holiday season

Maldives is seeing a surge in private jet arrivals, as high net worth individuals flock to the Indian Ocean tourist paradise to beat the cold weather in Europe and for much-needed post-lockdown getaways.

Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL) said Sunday that ad hoc flights that landed on the main Velana International Airport increased by 111 per cent in August to reach 59 from just 28 in July.

In September, Velana International Airport welcomed 60 ad hoc flights, while 126 flights — a 110 per cent increase over September — have been recorded in the first three weeks of October.

December to April is considered the peak tourist season, as these months constitute summers in Maldives. Between December and April, the islands boast of dry weather, making it ideal for tourists to travel and enjoy the tropical environment.

Resorts across the archipelago organise special activities for the festive season, which falls during the peak tourist season.

Each year, the festive season sees a surge in private jet arrivals, with record-setting numbers over the past two years.

Meanwhile, latest figures show that 35,507 tourists have arrived in the Maldives since the country reopened its borders in July.

The top 10 post-reopening source markets include:

  • Russia: 6,600
  • UAE: 3,431
  • United States: 2,930
  • United Kingdom: 2,791
  • Spain: 1,536
  • France: 1,518
  • Germany: 1,507
  • India: 1,267
  • Ukraine: 1,181
  • Brazil: 1,054

The positive development about arrival numbers reflect strong demand seen by travel agents and tour operators in several source markets. It also follows the resumption of scheduled passenger services by several global airlines.

Travel firm Kuoni has revealed that travellers in the UK were planning to splash out on luxury Christmas overseas trips after settling for summer staycations, with demand for year-end getaways in Maldives on the arise.

Bookings for 2021 trips to the Maldives are also on the rise.

Recent Google search data has also shown the Maldives as the top holiday destination among Europeans for next year.

Meanwhile, air connectivity between the Maldives and several major tourist source markets is also improving.

Emirates (10 flights a week), Etihad Airways (twice a week), Qatar Airways (daily), Turkish Airlines (once a week), Edelweiss (twice a week), SriLankan Airlines (daily), British Airways (three a week), Austrian Airlines (twice a week), Aeroflot (four a week), Nordwind (twice a week), Lufthansa (twice a week) and flydubai (twice a week) currently operate scheduled flights to the Maldives.

Meanwhile, Russian leisure airline Azur Air is set to offer a thrice weekly service to the Maldives November, while

From December 1, SilkAir will introduce twice a week service on the Singapore-Male route, while Air Seychelles will operate passenger services from Johannesburg to Maldives between December 4 and January 9, 2021.

The Maldives reopened its borders on July 15.

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 72 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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