Addu City, Maldives – The Managing Director of Addu International Airport (AIA) Qais Naseer has reassured that the seaplane terminal at Gan International Airport (GIA) will be operational by the end of November.
Speaking with ‘The Times of Addu’, Qais said that 40 percent of the work to be done at the terminal has been completed as of now, and that he is hopeful that the terminal will be complete by the end of the month.
Qais further added that although the terminal will be operational, and there are prospects of international flights such as indian routes and charters, the dates are yet to be finalized. However, he said that Sri Lankan Airlines, which has been operating flights to Gan since 2016 is very optimistic and that the main issue is the borders being closed in Sri Lanka right now.
“A symposium is being planned in which the airport, resorts and other stakeholders will be participating to discuss the matters at hand,” Qais said.
Country Manager of Sri Lankan Airlines to the Maldives, Fawzan Fareiz told ‘The Times of Addu’ that discussions are still ongoing regarding the plan for the city, but that “Sri Lankan has not given up on Addu”. He further reassured that it is not a matter of if the airline would recommence flights to Addu, but when.
Managing Director of Island Aviation Services, which will be operating the seaplanes of Maldivian airlines, Mohamed Rizvi, speaking with ‘The Times of Addu’ said that the airline is ready to send over an aircraft to the terminal and that, it is only waiting for the terminal to be complete. He also added that a team of Maldivian is scheduled to travel to Addu as soon as next Saturday, for an inspection of the terminal.
When asked whether Maldivian is considering to lower the domestic transfer prices between Male’ and Gan for tourists, Rizvi explained that there are already existing special commercial rate agreements with tourism service providers in the region.
The agreement to commence seaplane operations from Addu City to Huvadhoo atoll via Maldivian airlines, was signed between Addu International Airport and Island Aviation Services, which operates the Airlines, on 3rd October, 2020. Under this agreement, seaplane operations from Gan to Huvadhoo should start within the 45 days of the agreement being signed.
The seaplane base at Gan International Airport 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. However, since then, Addu International Airport has taken on the task of renovating and fixing up the terminal to meet the requirements of Maldives Civil Aviation Authority (MCAA), after which, Maldivian would keep one of their seaplanes stationed at Gan International Airports seaplane base.