Russian flag carrier to resume flights to Maldives

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Russian national airline Aeroflot is due to resume flights to the Maldives on 13 May after a two-month hiatus.

Aeroflot will operate one daily flight between Malé and Moscow with an A330-300 aircraft, the Maldives civil aviation authority confirmed to local media. The Maldives government reportedly assured Russian authorities that its aeroplanes would be serviced in line with existing agreements.

Russia was the top market in 2022 with 44,055 holidaymakers as of 2 March. But arrivals plummeted 70% after Aeroflot suspended international flights on 8 March over fears that its planes could be impounded. The Russian flag carrier, which brought more than 300 passengers to the Maldives daily, operated extra flights from Malé to Moscow on 7 March to evacuate Russian tourists.

But two airlines, Azure and Nordwind, continued to operate charter flights and Russian tourists were also able to travel to the Maldives via Qatar Airways, Emirates and Srilankan Airlines. However, Russia has since slipped to the third rank in the top markets with 54,624 holidaymakers as of 20 April.