Alitalia, the flag carrier of Italy commenced scheduled operations to Maldives, with the first flight Alitalia AZ 776 landing in Velana International Airport at around 11.25am (GMT +5) on November 1. The Airbus 330 flight which departed from Rome Fiumicino at 10:10 pm (GMT +1) on 31st October was given a water salute when it arrived in Velana International Airport after a 9 and half hours flight.
According to Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL), Alitalia will be operating thrice a week between Rome Fiumicino and Velana International Airport. Alitalia initially started charter operations to Maldives in 1985 and ceased the operations after 5 years. During 2014 winter season the flight made a few charter operations to Maldives.
The GSA of Alitalia in Maldives in Voyagers Maldives. The company expects tourist arrivals from Europe to increase with the operations of the airline. Italy is one of the main tourist generating countries for the Maldivian tourism industry. 58619 Italian tourists have visited Maldives in the past 3 quarters of 2017.
Coinciding with the peak tourism season in Maldives additional airlines such as Air France are expected to begin operations towards the end of the year.