Malé International Airport , formerly known as Hulhulé Airport, is the main international airport in the Maldives. It is located on Hulhulé Island in the North Malé Atoll, near the capital island Malé.
Malé was the Maldives' only international airport until the upgrading of Gan to international standard. Though the upgrading of Gan International Airport has been completed, regular international flight operations have yet to commence.
The airport opened on April 12, 1966, and was officially inaugurated under its new name on November 11, 1981. It is managed financially and administratively by an independent corporate entity known as Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL), which is governed by a Board of Directors appointed by the President.
Airlines and destinations
- Air Europe (Milan-Malpensa, Rome-Fiumicino)
- Air India
- Air Italy (Milan-Malpensa, Rome-Fiumicino)
- Air Seychelles (Mumbai, Seychelles, Singapore) [resumes 26 October]
- Best Air (Dhaka, Colombo)
- Blue Panorama Airlines (Colombo, Milan-Malpensa, Rome-Fumicino)
- Bangkok Airways (Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi)
- China Eastern Airlines (Johannesburg, Shanghai-Pudong)
- Condor Airlines (Frankfurt, Munich)
- Emirates (Colombo, Dubai)
- Eurofly (Colombo, Milan-Malpensa, Rome-Fiumicino)
- First Choice Airways (London-Gatwick, Manchester)
- Island Aviation Services (Gan Island, Hanimaadhoo, Kaadedhdhoo, Kadhdhoo, Trivandrum)
- Jazeera Airways (Dubai, Kuwait)
- Livingston Energy Flight (Milan-Malpensa, Rome-Fiumicino)
- LTU International/airberlin (Düsseldorf, Munich)
- Malaysia Airlines (Colombo, Kuala Lumpur)
- Martinair (Amsterdam)
- Monarch Airlines (London-Gatwick, Manchester)
- Neos (Milan-Malpensa)
- Qatar Airways (Doha)
- Singapore Airlines (Singapore)
- SriLankan Airlines (Colombo, London-Heathrow, Tokyo-Narita)
- Transaero (Moscow-Domodedovo)
- Trans Maldivian Airways (Gan, Kaadedhdhoo, Hanimadhoo [Starts Late 2008])
- XL Airways France (Paris-Charles de Gaulle)
Incidents and accidents
- On 13 May, 1986, in an operation carried out by the LTTE, a bomb on Air Lanka Flight 512 (now SriLankan Airlines) Lockheed L-1011 TriStar 100 exploded while passengers where boarding for a short-hop flight from Colombo to Malé. 14 people were killed, and the aeroplane was written off.
- On 17 May, 2004, a Trans Maldivian Airways de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 300 crashed on the end of runway 18 after experiencing problems taking off from the seaplane base at Hulhule, adjacent to the international airport. Both pilots and one passenger were seriously injured in the accident.
The development of the old Malé International Airport has begun and already a regional airport for all domestic flights has been built. Furthermore, a new international terminal has been built with more facilities and 4 gates with carriage. This terminal was built with the help of the Saudi Arabian government. Also, the development of a new runway is going to start very soon. The airport's size will be increased by joining the Hulhumalé and the Hulhule island.
A lot of airlines have asked permission from the Maldivian government to start flights. It is said that about 15 airlines have asked for permission by the end of February 2007. Recently an agreement with the Polish government will start flights between Maldives and some European countries including Poland. The Maldivian government has also permitted the U.S. to start flights to Maldives .
These airlines have started flights to Maldives during 2006