Sichuan Airlines is planning to launch direct flights to Maldives. As one of the China’s most reputable airlines, this strategic move provides the perfect setting to unwind and bask in the serenity of the Indian Ocean.
Sichuan Airlines to Maldives
With effect from August 29, the Chengdu based Sichuan Airlines will start service between Chengdu International Airport (China) and Male Velana International Airport (Male).
Sichuan Airlines is entering the Maldives market on perfect time as demand for Chinese visitors is continuously growing.
The airline will operate thrice weekly flights on this route. It will be using Airbus A320 for Male operations.
What is the competition?
As of now, only 2 airlines are operating scheduled flights between China and Male. Beijing Capital Airlines and China Eastern Airlines.
Beijing Capital Airlines is operating 3X weekly service between Beijing and Male with the Airbus A330-300 aircraft.
On the other hand, China Eastern Airlines is operating daily flights between Shanghai and Male with the Airbus A330-300 aircraft.
So, in short, Sichuan Airlines has no competition on this route.
One of the Sichuan Airlines executives told the media that the decision to fly to Maldives was taken because of increasing demand to the island among Chinese travellers.
According to Ministry of Tourism, China is the 4th largest tourist market for Maldives with around 80,800 arrivals. This contributes 7.9% to the Maldives tourism.
Before COVID, this number used to be very high. The country always topped in terms of tourism but due to COVID pandemic, China-Maldives tourism relationship was hard hit.
In 2019, around 2,85,000 Chinese travelers visited Maldives. This accounted about 16.7 percent of the total figure.
As borders are now reopened, the China market is all set to rebound. First flight after pandemic was from Beijing Daxing International Airport operated by Beijing Capital Airlines.
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