Tourist arrival growth up
MEGA Maldives Airline expands routes
The CEO of MEGA Maldives Airline, Mr. George Weinmann, released a statement today, saying: “MEGA Maldives Airlines is pleased to announce plans to develop new routes from Male, the capital of Maldives, to Melbourne, Australia; Johannesburg, South Africa; Tokyo, Japan; as well as one or two points in Germany.
“All the new routes will be fixed-weekly, nonstop, point-to-point service using our 767-300ER aircraft, except Johannesburg, which may utilize our 757-200ER with 200 seats configured for long-haul operations.
“The Maldives is an attractive destination for Australians with nearly 13,000 arrivals in 2011 and 33 percent growth. Australia is also a popular destination for Maldivian business people and families. The Maldives, as an island nation, also imports a great deal of its consumables products from Australia. We also believe Australia is a growing market for Maldives number one export: fresh reef and ocean fish.
“Johannesburg, South Africa, was once a strong source of traffic for the Maldives in years past. The lack of convenient air services after the conclusion of charter flights many years ago has reduced demand. With new convenient direct services, we believe South Africa will once again be a strong market.
“Tokyo is the hub of Japan, and with nearly 36,000 arrivals annually, the Japanese market remains significant to Maldives. However, we believe this market can grow further with new incentives for family and retired generation travelers, in addition to the traditional segments of honeymooners and divers. Cargo services to Japan are also an important focus for both import and export.
“Germany has jumped into the number one market position for Maldives in Europe with over 90,000 arrivals and growing. With the stopping of certain direct flights as a result of industry reorganization, we see an opportunity to provide continued nonstop services to this major market. In addition, we are evaluating opening a multiple points in Germany providing more convenient direct flight to each major sub-market.
“To support this growth, we have recently appointed Mr. Vernon Nathan as Commercial Development Manager, with specific responsibility for the new Melbourne and Johannesburg routes. Vernon is based in Melbourne and has over forty years of international airline experience in scheduled and non-scheduled operations both in the Middle East, as well as the African continent including South Africa.
“MEGA Maldives Airlines will work closely with the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Company and Maldivian and overseas tour operators and agents to develop these markets to their full potential. Building on our success in China, where we have supported nearly 20 familiarization and media tours, including nearly 80 press professionals, over the past year, we expect to raise the profile of Maldives as an early accessible premium destination in each of these new markets.
Hence our slogan: Paradise in Reach!”
MEGA Maldives Airlines will also be adding a third aircraft to its fleet, a Boeing 757-200W. This new aircraft will enter into service in August 2012 and will support the airline’s existing services between Male’ and Hong Kong, Chongqing, and Chengdu. The aircraft will have a seating capacity of 206, including Standard International Economy and Premium Economy classes. This addition complements the airline’s existing 767 fleet, as the 757 and 767 share a common type rating for pilots and many other similarities.
Maldives registered a 6.1 percent tourist arrival growth during June 2012 with 59,379 arrivals. A total of 458,068 tourist arrivals were registered from January to June 2012. This is an increase of 2.3 percent compared to the same period in 2011. Outstanding growth during June was recorded from Kazakhstan with 308.5 percent and Saudi Arabia with 151.8 percent growth. With the positive figures in June, MMPRC is very much in line with the set target of 1 million arrivals during 2012.
Launch of the global advertising campaign on BBC Worldwide and ongoing activities on social media platforms as well as PR networks in important markets together with the strategized traditional marketing activities such as fam trips, roadshows and representation at tourism fairs, and aggressive industry promotions, have contributed in boosting the arrival figures despite the economic situation in major markets.
Mega Maldives Airlines currently operates into Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Beijing, as well as several other points in China and will shortly commence operations to Seoul and Tokyo. The company was officially established in March 2010 and received its operating certificate in December 2010 commencing services into Hong Kong in January 2011. The airline operates three aircraft two B767-300ER with a configuration of 12 Business, 42 Premium, and 196 Economy seats and has recently leased a B757-200ER configured with 200 premium and standard international economy seats. The airline plans to add an additional 757 and two additional 767 in the coming year. Mega Maldives is a private limited company incorporated in the Maldives and is majority owned by a private Maldivian investment company along with minority American investors. Mega Maldives Airlines has offices and representation in Male, Hong Kong, London, Beijing, Seoul, and Melbourne.