Mumbai, Sep 29: Eyeing the growing number of Indian tourists, the Maldives flag-carrier will launch direct services from Mumbai, Chennai and Dhaka to Male, a top official here said.
Tourists can hop onto three flights a week from each of these cities to Male, Abdul Harris, managing director of Maldivian said late Friday.
To be operated by Airbus A-320, the first jet aircraft joining the Maldivian fleet, the Mumbai services shall be available Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, while the Chennai-Dhaka sectors will be available Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, he added.
Twelve-year-old Maldivian had launched its first international service to Thiruvananthapuram in January 2007 to leisure tourists and honeymooners. It is also an exclusive wedding destination.
Harris said that Indian tourists to Maldives grew by 20 percent from 25,756 in 2010 to 30,978 last year, and is steadily growing.
Exploring other avenues to boost tourist arrivals, Maldivian has signed an agreement with Apollo Hospitals in Chennai to promote medical tourism between the two countries, and Bangladesh.
The agreement was signed last week in Male.
Situated in the Indian Ocean around 400 km to the south-west of India, Maldives is the smallest Asian nation, with a population of around 328,000 spread on 200 of its 1,192 isles, covering a geographical area of around 90,000 sq kms.
Male, its capital, is well connected by air and sea domestic services connect its tiny islands.