Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA) has released a statement regarding the recent news based on a leak of a report by the Auditor General’s office on the new seaplane terminal at Velana International Airport.
The Auditor General’s report, which has not yet been made publicly available but has been leaked to the media, claims that Maldives Airport Company Limited (MACL) could generate US $47.3 million per year in revenue if it were to take over the management of the new terminal.
However, this figure of US $47.3 million of projected revenue is grossly incorrect – and is overstated by at least 8 times according to TMA’s calculations. Instead of using facts, the Auditor General’s report has used faulty assumptions that are unrealistic.
TMA stated that all seaplane operators in the Maldives will utilize the new seaplane terminal. TMA has only requested for space to accommodate its flexible and dynamic seaplane operations that provides seamless transfer services to more than 80 resorts.
However, the faulty US $47.3 million figure, which has been repeated in the news media, has led to members of the public and some politicians calling on MACL to cancel its agreement with TMA to manage the portion of the new terminal required for its operations.
The press statement emphasizes that this could potentially lead to disruption to TMA’s operations and would be detrimental to tourism in the Maldives.
The Auditor General report also neglects to mention that with the move to the new seaplane terminal, TMA is being forced to abandon the existing buildings, lounges and facilities in which the company has made an investment of around US $18 million.
TMA stated that the leaked Auditor General’s report is therefore extremely misleading, creating an erroneous impression that MACL could make vast sums of money if only it would manage the seaplane terminal itself; in reality, this is simply not the case.
The statement further noted the cruciality to uphold TMA’s contract with MACL, and the company can continue to provide the same level of exemplary service to the tourism industry as it expands over the coming years.