Velana International Airport Of Maldives
Today the government of Maldives has rebranded Ibrahim Nasir International Airport to Velana International Airport. This was the second time the main gate of Maldives got rebranded. The airport that serves to over a million passengers annually was first opened in 1960s as Male’ International Airport.
The name remained for several cades and in 2008 it got rebranded to Ibrahim Nasir International Airport.
President Ibrahim Nasir was the founder of this iconic structure. Hence, in 2008, President Mohamed Nasheed thought it would be important to associate the airport to its founder.
On 1st January 2017, President Yameen rebranded the same airport as Velana International Airport.
The name Velana was the tribal symbol of President Ibrahim Nasir and his was named after this tribal name. Speaking about the change, the government officials said it is short and easy to use this name. But, other argue the most suitable name was what it was initially called.
Unlike other countries the Maldives is made up of hundreds of tiny island. The island in which airport is located is called Hulhule’. The capital of Maldives is called Male’
, between these two islands it takes only 10 minutes each way by ferry.
Velana International Airport is located in the mid region of the Maldives. The strategic location makes it easy to reach other islands of the country. World’s largest seaplane operation is based in this airport. Trans Maldivian is the seaplane company, its majority share is owned by Blackstone which is a listed company in the New York stock exchange.
Maldives Airport Company Limited owns and operates Velana International Airport. MACL is 100% owned by the government. There are other domestic airports
operated by the government company. Velana International Airport serves to 99% of international passengers. Gan International Airport in southern Addu Atoll and Haminaadhoo International Airport in the northern region collectively serves to remaining 1%. The country map of Maldives
shows all airports in operation.
Seaplanes are allowed to fly only in day light, due to safety reasons. Domestic airports serve day and night. This makes domestic airports an important part of the infrastructure for tourism. Seaplane transfers are costly compared to domestic flights, hence it is not effective for locals. Domestic airports serve to both local and tourism.