Maldives and China are set to commence direct flights between the two countries on the 14th of the coming month. This announcement was made by the Chinese Ambassador to the Maldives, Wang Lixin, heralding a new chapter in the bilateral relations between the two countries.
The initiative was confirmed by Ambassador Lixin during a press briefing. She revealed that charter flights connecting Fuzhou City in China and the Maldives will be operated by Xiamen Airlines, one of China’s leading carriers. This move is seen as a strategic step to enhance connectivity and promote people-to-people exchanges between the two nations.
Further emphasising the significance of this development, a Chinese delegation is scheduled to arrive in the Maldives for in-depth discussions and decision-making regarding the operation of these flights. Ambassador Lixin also hinted at ongoing talks aimed at increasing the frequency of flights between the Maldives and China, underlining the commitment of both governments to strengthen their cooperative ties.
This announcement comes on the heels of President Muizzu’s first state visit to China, which appears to have been instrumental in cementing this agreement. During his visit, President Muizzu engaged in high-level discussions, focusing on enhancing bilateral relations and exploring new avenues for cooperation.
Additionally, Xiamen Airlines has announced plans to begin flight operations to the Maldives during the winter season, a decision that is expected to significantly boost the tourism sector. President Muizzu, elaborating on the plans, mentioned the prospect of increasing direct flights between Xiamen and Malé, the capital of the Maldives, along with other sectors.
President Muizzu, in a recent media statement, expressed optimism about the potential impact of these direct flights on the Maldivian economy. He emphasised the concerted efforts made during his visit to China to double the number of Chinese tourists visiting the Maldives within the next two years. This strategy aligns with the Maldives’ broader objectives of expanding its tourism market and diversifying its economic partnerships.
The introduction of direct flights between the Maldives and China is anticipated to mark a significant milestone in the relationship between the two countries, fostering greater economic collaboration, cultural exchange, and mutual understanding.