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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Direct flights from B’luru to Maldives underscores imp of Indian market: Manta Air chief

Date:

) Marking a historic moment for Maldives aviation industry, Manta Air, carrying a group of journalists and few other tourists, made its first international flight from Kempegowda Internation Airport in Bengaluru to Dhaalu Airport in Maldives on February 16.

Manta Air CEO Mohammad Khalil, who was at the airport, said the company’s decision to establish direct flights to Dhaalu Airport underscores the growing importance of the Indian market for the Maldives tourism sector.

“India as of now ranks as the fifth largest tourist market to the Maldives, with Bengaluru emerging as a popular destination for Maldivians seeking medical treatment, higher education, and leisure activities,” he said.

The direct flight service between Bengaluru and Dhaalu Airport opens up new vistas for both tourists and business travelers, fostering greater cultural exchange and economic cooperation between the two countries, Khalil said.

“The flight services from Bengaluru will give a big boost to tourism in Maldives. Indians visiting Maldives will not have to transit at the Velana International Airport,” he said.

This strategic move also aims to enhance the guest experience and boost bookings for resorts in Dhaalu atoll, particularly Kandima, RIU Hotel, and Niyama Private Island, which are all located in close proximity to the airport, Khalil said.

“By facilitating easier and more affordable travel access to the Maldives, we foresee a substantial increase in travel demand from Bengaluru and across India in 2024 and beyond,” he said.

Khalil also announced three days a week flights between Bengaluru and added that the expansion of the airport will help the aviation company to introduce Airbuses.

The Manta Air also plans to commence flights to other parts of India as well in next two to three years, Khalil said. Plans also are afoot to introduce flights from Sri Lanka, China and the Middle East in the same period, he said.

Khalil said that international flights would add to Manta’s flying hours, which would be the biggest benefit for an airline, and this would also help in developing domestic airports.

“The move from a domestic seaplane carrier and airline to an airline with international flights is an important step for the company’s growth. This will further improve the tourist experience and increase the bookings received by the resorts in Dhaalu Atoll,” he said.

“The launch of international flights to Dhaalu Airport not only benefits tourists but also facilitates seamless travel for Maldivians traveling abroad,” he said.

Manta Air plans to curate exclusive packages to international travelers from India which will not only provide significant savings on flight time and costs, but also enhance the accessibility of the Maldives’ pristine island resorts, Khalil said. The packages will be offered in collaboration with premium partner resorts in the Dhaalu Atoll region, he added.

The future looks promising for enhanced connectivity and tourism growth in the region, Khalil said.

There are eight resorts operating in Dhaalu Atoll, including the highest-end resorts. Of these resorts, Kandinma Maldives and Niyama Resort are owned by Sanjay Manik, the owner of the Dhaalu Airport.

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