The national airline Maldivian has reduced ticket prices for domestic travel to fulfil a campaign pledge of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.
“Ease of movement between our islands is an essential feature of the #JazeeraRaajje we pledged to the Maldivian people,” the president tweeted after the state-owned Island Aviation Services announced Wednesday evening that an overall reduction between 25 to 30 percent in all local sectors will take effect on January 10.
With domestic airfare more expensive than travel to neighbouring countries, the much-anticipated price reduction was part of the first 100-day action plan of the new administration.
But the announcement, which came days later than promised by the transport minister, has drawn criticism and sparked debate on whether prices have been significantly lowered.
Island Aviation announced a price range with a lower and upper limit. About 15,000 seats a month would be allocated for the lowest range.
The highest range price of a return ticket from the capital Malé to the northernmost Hanimadhoo would drop from about MVR2,800 (US$182) to MVR2,226 (US$144). From Malé to the southernmost atoll, the price would fall from about MVR3,500 to MVR2,665.
Malé – Hanimadhoo – Malé: MVR1,610 to MVR2,226
Malé – Ifuru – Malé: MVR1,500 to MVR2,056
Malé – Dharavandhoo – Malé: MVR1,098 to 1,562
Malé – Kudahuvadhoo – Malé: MVR1,500 t0 2,056
Malé – Thimarafushi – Malé: MVR1,610 t0 2,226
Malé – Kadhdhoo – Malé: MVR1,1610 to 2,226
Malé – Kooddoo – Malé: MVR1,652 to 2,442
Malé – Kaadedhdhoo – Malé: MVR1,652 to 2,442
Malé – Fuvahmulah – Malé: MVR1,698 to 2,598
Malé – Gan – Malé: MVR1,698 to 2,666
We will be publishing our revised fares which will be available in our system effective 10th January. Below is a fare comparison (in MVR) of the current and the previous fares. Further, we will be allocating 15,000 seats in low fare bands per month effective January 10th. pic.twitter.com/hxlNtFI84u
— Maldivian (@MaldivianAero) January 3, 2019