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Manta Air to launch direct fights from Dhaalu Atoll to Bangalore

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Manta Air has announced its decision to launch direct flights from Dhaalu Airport in Kudahuvadhoo to India’s Bangalore.

The airlines, in a statement on Wednesday, said direct flights between Kudahuvadhoo Airport and Bangalore’s Kempegowda International Airport will be commencing next January.

As per the airline, the launch of the direct flights will allow Indian tourists to avoid the hassles and additional expense of transiting through the main Velana International Airport and gaining direct access to many luxury resorts located in Dhaalu Atoll.

Dhaalu Atoll hosts some of country’s best resorts such as Kandima Maldives, Niyama Private Islands, St. Regis Maldives, RIU, Baglioni, Angsana Velavaru, and Sun Siyam Iru Veli.

Manta Air’s CEO Mohamed Khaleel said the launch of direct flights between Dhaalu Atoll and Bangalore marks a pivotal moment for the airline as it progresses from being the leading domestic and seaplane carrier in the Maldives to an international airline operator.

“This strategic move aims to enhance the guest experience and boost bookings for resorts in Dhaalu atoll, particularly Kandima, RIU Hotel, and Niyama Private Island, which are all located in close proximity to the airport. By facilitating easier and more affordable travel access to the Maldives, we foresee a substantial increase in travel demand from Bengaluru and across India in 2024 and beyond,” he added.

Manta Air commenced operations in February 2019 as a domestic carrier. The upcoming launch of direct flights between Dhaalu Atoll and Bangalore will mark the first time the airline is commencing operations to a foreign nation.

Source(s): sun.mv

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China Eastern resumes Kunming to VIA route

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China Eastern Airlines has resumed direct flights from Kunming to Velana International Airport (VIA) officially on Wednesday evening, February 28, 2024.

Minister of Tourism Ibrahim Faisal along with other senior officials of government and relevant institutions welcomed the maiden flight of China Eastern Airlines traveling from Kunming on Wednesday evening.

Besides the government officials, Chinese Ambassador to the Maldives Wang Lixin was also present at VIA to welcome the China Eastern flight.

The arrival of the first China Eastern flight to Maldives was marked with a water salute.

China is a crucial tourist market to the Maldives, and with the resumption of the China Eastern is expected to boost tourist arrivals from the country.

As of February 26, Chinese arrivals to the Maldives have already exceeded 50,000, and is the top source market to the country in annual terms.

Source(s): sun.mv

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Maldives mark a significant increase in Chinese arrivals

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The Ministry of Tourism has disclosed that the Maldives has welcomed over 50,000 tourist arrivals from Chinaso far this year.

A total of 378,245 tourists visited the Maldives as of February 24, representing a notable increase of 16.2% compared to the 325,423 arrivals during the same period last year, according to the latest statistics released by the tourism ministry.

China led in the number of tourists visiting the Maldives, with 51,984 arrivals, followed by Russia with 36,423 tourists, Italy with 35,834 tourists, the United Kingdom (UK) with 33,401 tourists, and India with 25,096 tourists. The statistics also indicated that the Maldives is currently witnessing an average of 7,744 tourist arrivals daily, with tourists spending an average of 7 days on holiday.

Furthermore, a record number of tourists arrived in the Maldives on February 10, with 10,213 arrivals recorded on that day.

While the government’s target is to attract 2 million tourists this year, the tourism ministry anticipates the actual number of tourists will surpass this target and reach approximately 2.3 million.

Source(s): PsmNews

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Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Wang Lixin at the 2024 “Happy Chinese New Year” Cultural Performance

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Honorable Mrs. Sajidha Mohamed, First Lady of the Republic of Maldives,

Honorable Mr. Ahmed Munaz, State Minister of Youth Empowerment, Information and Arts,

Honorable Ministers, MPs, party leaders,

Your Excellencies, Distinguished guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends,

Very good evening.

First of all, I’d like to extend a warm welcome to all of you gathering here tonight for the “Happy Chinese New Year” Cultural Performance, celebrating the Chinese New Year of the Dragon. In particular, I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the First Lady Honorable Mrs. Sajidha Mohamed for gracing this occasion as Guest of Honor.

The Spring Festival, a happy time for family reunion, is China’s most important traditional festival. Its cultural significance has gone beyond borders. It has now become a celebrated holiday in many countries. In December 2023, the United Nations officially listed Spring Festival as a UN holiday, highlighting its global resonance. The Spring Festival of the Year of the Dragon offers the world a window on China’s economic vibrancy. During the just-ended 8-day Spring Festival holiday, China’s domestic tourism market saw 474 million trips, marking a 19 percent increase comparing with the same period in 2019. China’s domestic tourism spending hit 632.6 billion yuan, up by 7.7 percent from the same holiday period in 2019. China’s box office revenue in the 8-day holiday totaled 8 billion yuan, marking a new record high. Meanwhile, China saw around 13.52 million inbound and outbound trips during the holiday, marking a 3-fold increase from the same holiday period last year. The booming outbound travel also brought dividends of the holiday consumption and joy of the Lunar New Year to the world, including Maldives. A large number of Chinese tourists have come here for Spring Festival holidays.

As we embark on the Year of the Dragon, symbolizing auspiciousness, wisdom and strength, I’d like to extend my sincere wishes for happiness, prosperity and good fortune to all of you.

The year 2023 has witnessed continuous progress and fruitful outcomes in China-Maldives relations. H.E. State Councilor Shen Yiqin, special envoy of President Xi Jinping, attended the inauguration ceremony of President Muizzu and visited the Maldives, opening a new chapter in China-Maldives relations. At the invitation of President Xi Jinping, President Muizzu paid a successful state visit to China early last month. The two heads of state announced the elevation of bilateral ties to a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership, providing strategic guidance and drawing a grand blueprint for future development of China-Maldives relations.

Over the past year, Our two nations have maintained close high-level exchanges, fostered ever-enhancing political mutual trust, achieved steady and sustained progress in high-quality BRI cooperation, and conducted vibrant cooperation on local government and people-to-people exchanges. In particular, with the gradual opening and resumption of direct flights between China and the Maldives, China has re-established its position as one of the leading source markets of tourists. Friendly cooperation between China and the Maldives is ushering in broad prospects, and we have full confidence in the bright future of our bilateral relations.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear friends,

Culture, as a vital bridge of friendship between our two peoples, plays a pivotal role in sustaining and enhancing China-Maldives relations. The cultural performance tonight will offer you a glimpse of the richness and diversity of Chinese culture, foster greater appreciation and understanding of China’s cultural heritage and modern dynamism.

I would like to take this opportunity to express sincere thanks to the cultural troupe from Chongqing, a beautiful and municipal city of China, which is also famous for hot pot. Carrying forward excellent traditional Chinese culture, their performance will definitely sow the seeds for China-Maldives friendship, make positive contribution to promoting cultural exchanges and enhance people-to-people friendship between our two countries.

My heartfelt thanks also go to Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Information, and Arts and National Center for Arts for their strong support to make this show happen. Meanwhile, my thanks go to the Maldivian artists who will join the performance and make it more colorful. I believe that the artists from China and the Maldives will jointly present a culture feast to us.

In conclusion, I wish the “Happy Chinese New Year” Cultural Performance a complete success and the friendship between China and the Maldives grow stronger and stronger.

Thank you!

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