Air India begins direct flights from Maldives to Bangalore and New Delhi

Air India flight which brought the first shipment of Covid-19 vaccine to Maldives | Photo: Jazeera

India – Starting from 5th February 2021, Air India will commence direct flights from Maldives to Bangalore and New Delhi.

Maldives and India created an air bubble between the countries in August 2020, the first in South Asia, as a safe corridor for passengers from both countries to travel.

Air India resumed operations in the Maldives on 25th August 2020, after the travel ban was lifted in Maldives, with direct flights to Trivandrum. With a negative PCR test within 96 hours to departure passengers could travel to direct to India. Passengers could book tickets from Maldives through Villa Travels.

The air bubble was beneficial to both countries with the highest tourist arrival recorded into Maldives coming from India. Tourism in Maldives has been picking up in 2021 with more tourists arriving in the country. Maldives has a natural advantage against the pandemic with islands separated from each other by the sea creating protective barriers.

India has gifted Maldives 100,000 doses of AstraZeneca licensed Covishield vaccine. Maldivian authorities have also signed agreements to purchase another 700,000 doses. Vaccination of the whole country is expected to begin in the upcoming months which would further ensure the safety of arriving tourists.