Velana International Airport celebrates Emirates 30 years of service to Maldives

Velana International Airport (VIA) celebrated Emirates 30 years of service to Maldives. An official water salute welcomed Emirates first flight of the day with an official function held at Maamehi Lounge at Velana International Airport.

The function was joined by the Managing Director of Maldives Airports Ltd (MACL) Mr. Adil Moosa, Representative of Maldives Civil Aviation Ms. Fathimath Raamiza, and Emirates District Manager Mr. Darrell Soertsz along with representatives of airport related institutions, staff of MACL and Emirates.

MACL MD Mr. Adil Moosa and Emirates District Manager Mr. Darrell Soertsz gave speeches at the function and corporate gifts were exchanged between the two companies. Moreover, a ceremonial cake was cut and group photos were taken on the occasion. The function was concluded after refreshments.

At the function, MD of MACL Mr. Adil Moosa emphasized on Emirates contribution to Maldives Tourism & trade and also congratulated Emirates for their 30 years of operations in the Maldives. Emirates District Manager Mr. Darrell Soertsz stated that Emirates has played an important part in Maldives with their huge number of passenger traffic & air cargo services. He also thanked Universal Enterprise and MACL for their continued support over the years.

Emirates Maldives Milestone Emirates Airlines commenced its operations on May 1987 with a B727 aircraft. Back then Emirates operated 02 flights a week with a capacity of 189 seats each.

  • October 1998 Emirates appoints Universal Enterprises as Passenger Sales Agent (PSA)
  • December 2000 Emirates appoints Universal Enterprises as Cargo Sales Agent
  • March 2004 Emirates adds 5 new services a week to Malé,
  • January 2005 Emirates opens new office amalgamating Emirates City office & PSA office
  • April 2005 Emirates SkyCargo launches ADX (Airport-to-Door) and DDX (Door-to-Door in Malé
  • 2006 Emirates becomes the first airline to open a cargo operations office at then-Malé
  • International Airport present Velana International Airport
  • August 2010 Emirates launches daily flights from Malé to Colombo
  • September 2012 Emirates voted Best Airline in the Maldives – Maldives Association of Travel Agents & Tour Operators (MATATO).
  • December 2014 Emirates adds third daily flight from Malé to Dubai

Now Emirates operates daily 4 flights (B777 – 300 ER) with a capacity of 360 seats on each flight.(3 flights to Dubai and 1 flight to Colombo).

About Maldives Airports Company Ltd

Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL) is a 100% government-owned limited liability company incorporated under the Companies Act of the Rep of Maldives. MACL is governed by a Board of Directors appointed by the Privatisation & Corporatisation Board of the Maldives. The Corporate Office of MACL is on the island of Hulhule’, Republic of Maldives Maldives Airports Company is the operator of Velana International Airport and has been massively involved in destination marketing and bringing in new airlines to the Maldives to boost up the tourism industry. MACL has embarked on one of the biggest projects in the history of Maldives in developing the future Velana International Airport such as the development of a brand new international passenger terminal, a new code F runway, a new cargo terminal complex and a new fuel farm along with hydrant system and major infrastructure developments at Velana internationals Airport.

Akon To Perform In Maldives This January

The Ministry of Tourism of the Maldives is organising a free concert in the capital city Malé for the 8th January with the acclaimed Senegalese-born and current US-based R&B and hip hop artist Akon.

The event was announced through a video message from Akon which was shown during the Tourist Arrival Countdown show held on New Year’s Eve where two Indian Bollywood musicians Salim – Sulaiman performed.

Salim - Sulaiman perfoming at National Football Stadium on New Year's Eve.
Salim – Sulaiman perfoming at National Football Stadium on New Year’s Eve. Photo credit: Haveeru

This is the second attempt by the four time grammy nominated artist to perform in the Maldives. The first attempt was in 2010 which was cancelled after the tickets were sold saying the technical assistance and security measures were not up to par.

The 2010 performance attempt was hugely opposed by the then Islamic Ministry and several religious groups. Speaking in response to public discord over two Indian musicians playing in the Maldives on New Year’s Eve and Akon’s performance scheduled for Thursday to the local daily newspaper Haveeru, Tourism Minister Adeeb said that foreign artists and musicians are invited to perform in the Maldives as a means to promote tourism and has nothing to do with religion and that they are simply a means to promote Maldives as a brand.

He also said “These shows are for promoting Maldives’ tourism. While the entire world has started to see Malé City as a lair that harbours members of the Islamic State or extremist militants, foreign artists performing here will show the world what the situation here is truly like. Maldives does not belong to the Islamic State.”

Pop/Dancehall/Reggae singer Sean Paul
Pop/Dancehall/Reggae singer Sean Paul

Akon’s announcement to perform in Maldives comes after Jamaican Grammy Award winning International star Sean Paul – who was supposed to perform during Tourism Arrival Countdown Show 2014 – cancelled at the last minute after a YouTube video was released threatening the artist with death if he performed in the Maldives.