Velana International Airport is expected to see a rise in flight numbers during winter

Air France Boeing 777-328(ER) Planespotters

Velana International Airport is expected to see a rise in flight numbers over the European winter period. Minister Mohamed Saeed, who is in charge of the Velana International Airport development project said that during the seasonal winter period, more than 10 aircraft are expected to land at VIA. “Additional arrivals mean, that the airport will see an aircraft land every 2-3 hours,” Saeed added.

European winter usually runs from November until February. Maldives Airports company also confirmed that they are prepping to welcome several new arrivals into Velana International Airport. Notable newcomers would be French national airline “Air France” which would fly into Male’ every Thursday and Saturday on a weekly basis. Air France is expected to use the long-range wide-body twin-engine Boeing 777 aircraft. Another airline that is expected to start operations is the Rome based Alitalia. The Italian national carrier will fly into Male’ on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays on a weekly basis using Airbus A330 aircrafts which has a capacity of 250 passengers. Additionally, airlines are expected to increase flights as well as capacity targeted towards the busy holiday period.

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While the government has strongly suggested that more and more airlines are ready to fly into Maldives, Maldives received close to 900,000 visitors by August 2017 showing a 5.9 percent increase from last year. Maldivian government expects to receive over 1.3 million tourists in 2017. It is believed that when the airport development project is completed, Velena International Airport can cater to 7 million visitors annually.

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