A new departure tax on passengers leaving from any Maldives airport came into force on 1 January.
The new tax replaces the Airport Service Charge collected until 31 December. The service charge was levied at fixed rates of US$12 for Maldivians and US$25 for tourists and expatriates. But the departure tax has progressive rates based on travel class.
The new rates also apply to the Airport Development Fee as of 1 January. The fee was previously fixed at US$12 for local passengers and US$25 for foreign passengers, including transit passengers.
Persons with diplomatic immunity and passengers on direct transit flights are exempt from both taxes. Children under two years of age are exempt from the departure tax.
Airlines that operate scheduled flights are responsible for collecting taxes and fees with ticket prices. Airport operators will collect the tax from passengers arriving on charter flights and private jets.
A new 78,000 square meter terminal at the Velana Airport International is expected to be completed this year. The new terminal would remove space constraints and allow the country’s main airport to accommodate up to 7.5 million passengers annually. The airport expansion project also includes aero boarding bridges and state-of-the-art baggage handling systems.