Shanghai Airlines commences direct flights to Maldives

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dfghjkShanghai Airlines, a subsidiary of China Eastern Airlines, has launched direct flights from Shanghai, China to the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA).

“The Shanghai Airlines landed around 1809 hours local time today [February 3] with mostly Chinese tourists,” the Maldives Airports Company Ltd (MACL) stated in a press release. “The shanghai Airlines aircraft type B 767 has a seat capacity of more than 200 seats. The chartered airline is expected to operate till the end of winter season with 3 time weekly frequency.”

According to MACL, Shanghai Airlines previously operated twice weekly flights to the Maldives as a charter airline. China tourists currently account for 30% of all tourist arrivals to the Maldives. Last week, national carrier Maldivian Airlines commenced flights to Nanjing, Changsa, and Xian.

At a ceremony held last month to welcome a new 200-seat Airbus A321-200 aircraft to the Maldivian fleet, Maldivian Managing Director Abdul Haris said the airline expects the number of tourist arrivals from China to increase to 900 a week with the introduction of flights to three new cities.

The Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Company meanwhile predicts Chinese tourist arrivals to increase by over 2,000 a month with the new flights carrying 200 passengers from each city once a week.