Seaplane operations would attract more airlines to Addu: Qais

MD of Addu International Airport Qais Naseer (L) speaking to MD of Maldivian airlines Mohamed Rizvi (R) during the Addu- Huvadhoo seaplane operations agreement signing ceremony held in Addu City on October 3, 2020 | Photo: adduLIVE

Addu City, Maldives – Managing Director of Addu International Airport (AIA) company, Gais Naseer has said that commencement of seaplane operations from Addu City to Huvadhoo atoll would be a gateway for more airlines to start operating to Gan International Airport (GIA) which is run by AIA in Addu City.

Speaking in the ceremony held to sign the agreement between Addu International Airport and Maldivian airlines yesterday, Qais said that one of the tasks he prioritized most after taking office was to make Gan International Airport the main hub for southern Maldives development and that coming to an agreement with Maldivian to start seaplane operations was a key step forward for the development of the region.

“One of the main challenges we have always faced is to bring international flights, the seaplane operations is a great support and would help us to eliminate this challenge”, Gais told.

He also stated that this operations would make things easier for tourists who come to the resorts in Huvadhoo atoll and that this would help increase the number of tourists who come to those resorts as well. While Huvadhoo atoll is the largest natural atoll in the world, it currently hosts 10 resorts with famous brands such as Pullman Hotels and Resorts, Park Hyatt hotels and resorts, Robinson Club resorts and Raffles Hotels & Resorts having their properties among them.

The discussions of restarting seaplane operations started in June and Gan International Airport would be used to restart the tourism sector which came to a halt as the borders were closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Gais added that the development of Gan International Airport is a highly prioritized work of this government and that relevant authorities especially Economic Minister Fayyaz has been giving instructions for it.

Under the agreement which was signed yesterday, the seaplane operations from Gan to Huvadhoo would start within the next 45 days and Maldivian has told that they would keep one of their seaplanes stationed at Gan International Airports seaplane base. The seaplane base at GIA was developed by Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA) in 2016 during the airport development project which also included the runway and apron extension of the airport.