Today, Virgin Atlantic launched its latest direct flight route, linking London Heathrow to the Maldives. The inaugural flight, operated by Virgin Atlantic, touched down at VIA early this morning at 07:40 am local time, signifying the commencement of an exciting new era in air travel between the United Kingdom and the Maldives. Passengers aboard the Virgin Atlantic aircraft were greeted with a warm traditional Maldivian Bodeberu welcome ceremony, featuring captivating cultural dance performances.
This new service is set to operate three times a week, with Virgin Atlantic’s state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which boasts a total of 31 Upper Class, 35 Premium, and 192 Economy Delight, Classic, and Light seats. Travelers will have a range of options to suit their preferences and budgets.
For those seeking the utmost in luxury, Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class offers fully flat beds and an onboard bar, providing a fine dining experience and an opportunity to network with fellow travelers. Premium customers can relax in their luxurious leather armchairs, complete with a 38” seat pitch, and enjoy the perks of priority boarding and welcome drinks. Regardless of the cabin class chosen, all passengers will enjoy complimentary food and beverages, over 300 hours of entertainment, and a warm welcome from Virgin Atlantic’s renowned cabin crew.
Mr. Mahjoob Shujau, CEO & Managing Director of MACL, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “As the operator of Velana International Airport, we are excited to welcome the prestigious and customer-centric airline, Virgin Atlantic. This inaugural flight marks a significant milestone in the enhancement of air travel connections between the United Kingdom and the Maldives. We look forward to a prosperous partnership with Virgin Atlantic as we continue to elevate the travel experience for our passengers.”
Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic, shared his excitement, saying, “We couldn’t be more thrilled to launch our flights between the United Kingdom and the Maldives with our new thrice-weekly service, as we continue to expand our growing collection of winter sun destinations. We are proud to be able to offer more opportunities for our customers to experience the Maldives and are looking forward to welcoming them to this breathtaking and one-of-a-kind destination. The collaboration between MACL and Virgin Atlantic reflects the shared commitment to delivering exceptional travel experiences and fostering stronger air connectivity between the United Kingdom and the Maldives.”
Caron Rohsler, British High Commissioner to the Maldives, also expressed her delight, stating, “I am delighted that Virgin Atlantic has today started operating direct flights from London Heathrow to Maldives. Maldives is a top holiday destination for British tourists. Brits have consistently featured among top 3 nationalities visiting Maldives for many years. The UK Government has worked with the Government of Maldives for many years now on airport safety and aviation security. I look forward to continuing our partnerships in Maldives, especially as the airport expansion progresses. Tourism is an important pillar of the Maldivian economy, and I hope this milestone today will contribute to continued growth in convenient and comfortable travel between our countries. Visitors are encouraged to read the FCDO’s travel advice and to buy travel insurance to enjoy the best possible holiday experience.”
The Virgin Atlantic Inaugural event was attended by the British High Commissioner to the Maldives and senior members of MACL, along with senior members of the local agent, Voyages Maldives. This new route promises to strengthen the connection between the United Kingdom and the Maldives, offering travelers a remarkable journey to one of the world’s most picturesque destinations.
The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands Welcomes New Executive Chef Leonardo Valls
The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands is thrilled to welcome its new Executive Chef, Leonardo Valls. Bringing 20+ years of international experience and an eye for gastronomic innovation, Valls is set to elevate the resort’s culinary experiences with his creativity and craftsmanship.
Valls’ journey in the kitchen started in his native Chile, where he joined chef Tomás Olivera in 2003 at The Ritz-Carlton, Santiago, the brand’s first property in South America. During his five years there, Valls helped Olivera and the hotel’s Adra restaurant earn numerous accolades and awards, laying the groundwork for his next adventure.
In 2008, Valls crossed the globe to join another Ritz-Carlton property, the Hotel Arts Barcelona, where he spent more than a decade as part of a highly celebrated team, led by acclaimed chef Paco Pérez. During his tenure, he helped the hotel’s Enoteca restaurant earn its first and second Michelin stars (2010 and 2013) and was named Executive Sous Chef of the hotel’s culinary division in 2016, overseeing operations for five restaurants, a central kitchen, and major international events including the Mobile World Congress.
In early 2020, Valls was set to make another international move, this time as Executive Sous Chef of The Ritz-Carlton, Naples in Florida, but the pandemic led to a change in plans, prompting his return to Santiago. In 2021, opportunity knocked again with the entry of the legendary brand into the Maldives and Valls joined The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands as Executive Sous Chef.
After a year at The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands, Valls found his homeland calling once again. Armed with vast knowledge of the luxury culinary concept, he took his expertise to the AC Hotel by Marriott Santiago Costanera Center where, as Executive Chef, he infused his style with Spanish and other European influences.
Renato De Oliveira, General Manager of The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands comments, “We’re thrilled to have Valls back in the Maldives, this time as our Executive Chef. His appointment is the start of a new chapter in an already illustrious career and an opportunity for guests to experience the world through Valls’ unique culinary perspective.”
Sun Siyam Resorts Boosts PR & Communications Team with Appointment of Erika Magora for Sun Siyam Iru Veli & Sun Siyam Vilu Reef
Sun Siyam Resorts has announced a dynamic addition to its PR and Communications team with the appointment of Erika Magora as Cluster Assistant PR & Communications Manager for Sun Siyam Iru Veli and Sun Siyam Vilu Reef. With an impressive background in law from the UK, coupled with a diverse upbringing in the Philippines and Malaysia, Erika brings a unique blend of skills and experiences to our renowned luxury resorts.
Prior to joining Sun Siyam Resorts, Erika served as the key figure in managing Marketing Communications at the prestigious 5-star luxury resort, The Datai Langkawi in Malaysia. Her collaboration with international media, partners, and agencies has significantly contributed to the resort’s global presence. She has worked with top journalists, production crews and PR partners from the UK, Europe, Australia, America and Asian regions. Erika also has experience in sales and marketing when she played a pivotal role in the Asia Pacific region’s sales and marketing for Foodpanda, a leading delivery brand in Asia.
“I cherish the cultural diversity and distinctions of both properties that I work for. Sun Siyam Iru Veli fascinates me as it revels in its private luxury tranquility, attracting a premium market. In Sun Siyam Vilu Reef, the naturally playful environment and genuine warmth of the people that create an inviting haven for repeater guests, captivate me. Both are beautiful, each in its unique way. Embracing diverse media and markets adds excitement to my work. The pristine beach and sea in both places energize me, fueling my passion for what I do.” expressed, Erika.
Claudia Klingbeil, Group Director of PR & Communications at Sun Siyam Resorts said: “Erika’s appointment underscores our dedication to assembling a team of talented individuals who not only possess exceptional professional capabilities but also embody the diverse cultural tapestry that defines our global clientele. We are confident that Erika’s passion for communication, coupled with her international perspective, will elevate our PR and Communications efforts to new heights of success.”
Discover Romance in Paradise: Hurawalhi Island Resort Unveils Unforgettable Wedding & Honeymoon Experiences
Nestled within the tranquil beauty of the Maldives’ Lhaviyani Atoll, Hurawalhi Island Resort beckons couples to embark on a journey of romance and luxury like no other. We are thrilled to unveil our exclusive wedding and Honeymoon packages, meticulously crafted to transform dreams into unforgettable moments amidst breathtaking landscapes and unparalleled opulence.
Unforgettable Proposals and Unique Experiences: Make your proposal truly unforgettable with special setups at the 5.8 Undersea Restaurant, where divers can pop the question on the other side of the glass. Explore other unique proposal arrangements during destination dining experiences, ensuring your love story begins with a touch of magic.
Picture-perfect Wedding Venues: Imagine exchanging vows at one of Hurawalhi’s picturesque wedding locations, where each setting offers a tropical canvas for a ceremony you’ll cherish forever. Feel the soft sand beneath your feet as you declare your love during a traditional Maldivian Beach wedding, creating memories to cherish for a lifetime.
For those seeking an intimate affair, Hurawalhi’s Dream Island provides the perfect backdrop. Stroll barefoot down the petal-strewn isle on the atoll’s most picturesque sandbank, enveloped by crystal-clear waters and gentle sea breezes.
For a truly magical experience, tie the knot at the Champagne Pavilion, Hurawalhi’s prime sunset-watching spot. Bask in the golden hues of the setting sun as you pledge your love amidst the serene beauty of the island and its surroundings.
Unforgettable Wedding Experiences: Elevate your wedding to extraordinary heights with a ceremony at the renowned 5.8 Undersea Restaurant. Choose from morning, midday, or evening ceremonies, and exchange vows surrounded by the mesmerizing underwater world, creating memories that will last a lifetime.
Alternatively, embark on a romantic voyage aboard Hurawalhi’s Luxury Yacht, where you can say “I do” against the backdrop of a crimson sunset over the horizon. Whether you opt for a Half Day or Full Day Yacht Rental, the ocean provides the perfect setting for your love story to unfold.
Luxurious Inclusions and Optional Add-ons: Indulge in a myriad of inclusive amenities, including ceremonial set up, floral bouquet for the bride, buttonhole for the groom, romantic villa turndown, Hurawalhi wedding certificate, wedding plaque, and the rhythmic beats of Boduberu drummers. Toast to your love with a bottle of champagne and savor the sweetness of a decadent wedding cake.
Enhance your experience with optional add-ons such as bridal make-up and hair, intimate candlelight dinners, rejuvenating massage packages, professional photography services, and exciting excursions to explore the wonders of the Maldives.
Welcoming Honeymoon Guests: At the enchanting Hurawalhi Island Resort, the honeymoon unfolds with the captivating melodies of Boduberu performers and a delightful welcome drink to set the mood. As honeymooners step into their villa, they are greeted with the indulgence of half a bottle of Taittinger champagne and tantalizing canapés, beckoning them into a world of romance and luxury. The honeymoon bed, adorned with care, promises nights of blissful serenity under the Maldivian stars. To commemorate their love story, a personalized card and a charming honeymoon T-shirt await the couple on their second day, creating moments of pure enchantment throughout their stay.
At Hurawalhi Island Resort, we invite you to embark on a journey of love, luxury, and unparalleled beauty. Create timeless memories as you begin your happily ever after in one of the world’s most enchanting destinations.
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