Record number of private jets for Easter holidays

Record number of private jets for Easter holidays
April 03 10:34 2018

The Velana International Airport hosted a record number of private jets on Sunday at the start of Easter holidays.

Some 29 private jets were parked at VIA on April 1, according to the Maldives Airports Company Ltd. The state-owned company previously said more than 140 private jets arrived during the busy Christmas-New Year period.

The annual Easter holiday also sees a bump in tourist arrivals from Europe.

Private jets were previously rerouted to neighbouring countries and domestic airports due to lack of space at VIA. But the recent development of the apron on the airport’s northern end has made room for about 30 jets at a time.

Work on laying the first asphalt layer for VIA’s new runway began last month as part of an ambitious US$1 billion expansion plan to cater to more than seven million passengers a year.

More than a million tourists visit the Maldives annually at present.

Tourist arrivals grew by 19 percent in February as travel advisories from key markets failed to make a dent in visitor numbers. The government gave repeated assurances that resorts were unaffected by a 45-day state of emergency as the unrest was confined to the capital.

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