In 2022, Emirates completes 35 years of connecting the Maldives, one of the most popular and sought-after destinations in the Indian Ocean, to the world. The island nation also celebrates 50 years of organised tourism this year, catering to a growing customer base in the region witnessing an influx of tourists as travel restrictions ease.
Ronald Reagan was in the White House and Margaret Thatcher was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom when Emirates operated its first flight to Hulhulé Airport, now Velana International, on 27 May 1987. Malé was the eighth international destination of the fledgling airline, which over the three decades that followed, grew into the world’s leading international airline and was connecting the Maldives to a global network that comprised of more than 150 destinations pre-pandemic.
Over the past 35 years, Emirates has operated more than 28,000 round trip flights to the Maldives, logging approximately 134 million kilometres on the route and carrying 8.4 million passengers to and from the destination.
In just the past year, Emirates was recognised as the top airline to the Maldives for carrying 265,000 passengers in 2021, an impressive contribution to the country’s tourism industry after COVID-19 necessitated travel restrictions were lifted. Today, Emirates operates 28 flights a week to and from the Maldives, connecting travellers and exporters to a destination network that is rapidly and safely being restored to pre-pandemic levels as countries re-open for international travel.
Reaffirming its commitment to the role it plays in the Maldives’ trade and tourism recovery in the post restrictions period, Emirates recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Maldivian, the national airline and leading domestic carrier in the Maldives, to explore codeshare, interline and joint holiday package opportunities. Under this partnership forged in February this year, the two carriers have entered a codeshare agreement that has enabled Emirates’ customers to conveniently book and connect from Male’ to more than 15 domestic destinations and the international destinations served by Maldivian.
In a similar vein, Emirates renewed its long-standing partnership with the Maldives in October 2021, by extending an MoU with the country’s Ministry of Tourism at Expo 2020. The agreement reaffirmed the airline’s commitment to the island-nation, and outlined various initiatives to promote trade and tourism to the country.
Emirates continues to place top priority on safe travel with the implementation of comprehensive measures on the ground throughout all touchpoints and on board to provide its passengers with the highest safety and hygiene standards at every step of the journey. Customers travelling from Dubai can also take advantage of state-of-the-art contactless technology to ease their journey through the airport.
Emirates offers its customers an unmatched culinary experience in the skies with regionally inspired multi-course menus developed by a team of award-winning chefs complemented by a wide selection of premium beverages. Customers can sit back and relax with more than 5,000 channels of carefully curated global entertainment content featuring movies, TV shows, music, podcasts, games, audiobooks and more with ice, Emirates’ award-winning inflight entertainment system.