Hong Kong Airlines Relaunches Direct Flights to The Maldives

Hong Kong Airlines renews direct flights to The Maldives, signaling a revival in international travel post-pandemic. The inaugural flight arrived at Velana International Airport (VIA) on with 209 passengers, reaffirming the airline’s commitment to reconnecting global travellers with the tropical destination.




Hong Kong Airlines resumed direct flights to The Maldives, heralding a resurgence in international travel post the Covid-19 pandemic. The inaugural flight, part of this recommencement, landed at Velana International Airport (VIA), accommodating 209 passengers.


The resumption was marked by a special ceremony at VIA, symbolising the rekindled connection between Hong Kong and The Maldives. The airline operates the A330 aircraft on this route, with a capacity of 290 passengers, scheduling flights thrice a week: Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.


This development aligns with the government’s ambitious plans to restore China as the top source market for tourism this year. China, previously The Maldives‘ largest tourism market, saw a positive growth trajectory despite its current sixth rank.


As of 16 January, The Maldives welcomed 5,821 Chinese tourists this year, according to the Ministry of Tourism. In 2023, China was the third-top source market, with 187,118 Chinese tourists contributing 10 percent of the market share.


Hong Kong Airlines initially launched direct flights to The Maldives in 2011, transitioning to regularly scheduled flights in 2018, suspended in 2019 due to the pandemic. However, arrivals from China have steadily increased, nearing pre-pandemic levels post the reopening of global borders.


In addition to Hong Kong Airlines, three other Chinese airlines—Szechuan Air, China Eastern, and Beijing Capital Airlines—operate flights to The Maldives. Chinese Ambassador to The Maldives, Wang Lixin, announced China’s plan to initiate charter flights between various Chinese destinations and The Maldives, starting from 14 February.


Ambassador Wang reiterated China’s commitment to support President Mohamed Muizzu in reinstating China as the primary source market for Maldivian tourism. She also alluded to potential commercial flights, contingent on increased demand, signifying strengthened ties and a promising future for Maldives tourism.


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