Maldives is super popular among Russian travelers, and it is starting to show.
A third airline--Rossiya Airlines--is starting a Russia-Maldives service.
Rossiya Airlines is a major international airline of Russia, operating under the Aeroflot group. The airline had been operating flights to more than 50 destinations worldwide, including Russian cities.
Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL) yesterday revealed that Rossiya Airlines will be commencing operations on November 14, 2020. The airline will be operating a Boeing 747-400 aircraft once a week between Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport and Malé's Velana International Airport.
"This new airline will have one flight weekly & would operate till 7 March 2021," tweeted MACL.
Meanwhile, Russia's flag carrier Aeroflot will be doubling its current flights to Malé.
"An additional frequency of Aeroflot will start from 21 November 2020, making it to a total of 8 flights per week to Velana Airport," tweeted the airport operator.
Maldives' Minister of Tourism tweeted, "Another connection from Russia to Maldives with love. Thank you Russia."
Another Russian airline--Nordwind--also debuted Maldives services last October. All three airlines operate their services to Malé from Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport.
Maldives' Ministry of Tourism is expecting Russian charter airline Azur Air to also start flights to Maldives this holiday season.
As more airlines are debuting and recommencing flights to the Maldives, Velana International Airport is slowly getting back to its usual business. The airport excitingly tweeted that "busy days are ahead for us".
According to statistics by Maldives Immigration and the Ministry of Tourism, some 40,000 tourists visited Maldives after its borders opened in July 2020. Close to 10,000 of this number (21.5%) are of Russian nationality.
Maldives is a World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) certified Safe Travels destination. Only a negative PCR test not preceeding 96 hours is necessary to enter Maldives, and travelers of every nationality are offered a free tourist visa of 30 days on arrival.
Split stays among exclusive tourist resorts, guesthouses on local islands and safaris are also now permitted.