Posted by admin | Posted in Holidays in the Maldives, Maldives Liveaboards, Maldives Scuba Diving, Safari Boats Maldives, The Maldives | Posted on 18-09-2012
Wherever you travel, the easiest way to get where you want to go is by air, and coming to the Maldives is almost exclusively so, due to the fact that it is a country of islands in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Let’s take a look at how you’ll be coming in and travelling around the archipelago.
Booking your ticket can be a big deal of stress, after you’ve chosen your holiday, or rather, plan to just wing it after flying over. It’s not that there aren’t enough airlines that fly over to the Maldives – more than 20 from some of the largest hubs around the world – but that the journey can either set you off on the right foot or ruin what could have been a grand entry into the Maldives.
All flights inbound and outbound get a spectacular view of the country of islands scattered over the sea, much like omelettes with parsley garnishing sprinkled over. At night, the streetlights of the islands shine like lost jewels on a dark beach. It’s a sight for jetlagged, grumpy folk, who seem to get a new leash on life when they first see the stunning sight.
It’s very possible that you may have to take a local flight before you begin the longest leg of the journey, if you plan to make it to the Maldives with a little less strain on the bank. Cheaper flights will require you to make a couple of stops at hubs like Dubai, Mumbai or Colombo. The other flights require less layovers and changing flights, but will definitely be more expensive. It’s a tradeoff between convenience and cost, as usual.
Most of the hubs that have flights to and from the Maldives are London, Paris and Frankfurt in Europe. The lesser travelled ones are Zurich and Moscow. From the Middle East, there’s Qatar, and Dubai, while the local hubs are Mumbai in India, and Colombo, of Sri Lanka. Colombo deserves special mention because it’s the base of the Sri Lankan Airlines that flies to quite a few destinations around the world, and is only an hour’s distance away from Malé, Maldives.
The hubs in the east are Bangkok in Thailand, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, Narita in Japan, and Beijing, China.
Locally, there are two seaplane operators in addition to the National Flag Carrier “Maldivian” by Island Aviation Services Ltd and FlyMe, by Villa Air. They fly to even domestic airports, from north to south; Hanimaadhoo , Maamigili, Kadhdhoo, Kooddoo, Kaadedhoo, Fuvamulak and Gan.
There also is the international airline, Mega Maldives that connects Malé and Gan, Addu to Hong Kong, Seoul, and the Chinese destinations of Beijing, Chongqing, Shanghai, Chengdu and Hangzhou.
Most flights between the islands of the Maldives will average less than an hour, with the longest sector between the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport, Malé, and Gan International Airport in Addu the exception as the flight takes about one and half hour and crosses the equator.
Booking these flights is quite easy. You can either visit their website like how we normally book International flights, or walk into a ticket sales agent in Malé and be on the go before you know it.
There are a few things you’ll have to keep in mind while travelling to the Maldives. As with all travel, always keep your travel documents at an easily accessible place. There will be baggage restrictions on most of the domestic flights as these are smaller turboprop aircraft. Usually the airline will forward your luggage on the next available flight if your luggage is offloaded due to a full flight.
Surfboards exceeding 8 feet in length cannot be loaded on these aircraft, so surfers will have to keep that in mind, if they’re planning to fly in with their equipment.
In your first check in into the Maldives, you’ll get a month’s time on a visiting visa. While tourists are required to have proof of prior reservations at any divind safari or accommodation in the Maldives, backpackers will have to consult with the airport’s helpdesk on what their options are.
Alcohol is banned for import, and will be confiscated by the customs upon arrival and be destroyed, so purchasing from duty free before you arrive at the Maldives to beat the cost of buying from the bar will ultimately end in tears. It then goes without saying that having drugs on oneself is an offence that carries severe consequences.
It’s a good idea though to have a bottle of water with you while you’re stepping out of your flight into the Maldivian atmosphere. Although the temperature is quite acceptable at about 27 – 32 degrees during day time, visitors often suffer from heat exhaustion as they require time to get adjusted to the climate.
Maldivians are a dependable people who are warm and friendly, so if you have a friend in the Maldives, you’ll not feel lost or afraid as there will always be people to help you!
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