India and Maldives are looking at enhancing cooperation in the civil aviation sector, including increasing air links between Indian cities and Male. A delegation led by Maldives Minister of Transport and Communication, Ahmed Shamheed met India’s Union Minister of Civil Aviation Ajit Singh in New Delhi yesterday. The two ministers discussed way forward to strengthen airport infrastructure at Male International Airport.
The meeting discussed the bilateral air services agreement between the two countries. The current agreement does not allow flights to and from Maldives with a carrying capacity of more than 150. However, all airlines flying to Maldives other than Air India are flying with capacity higher than 150. Singh said, “India will relook the agreement which will help in boosting tourism between the two countries.” Airlines like Island Aviation, SpiceJet and Mega Maldives are planning to connect flights from Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai with Male.
The meeting also discussed the issues faced by GMR Group who was awarded the privatization contract for Male International Airport. The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) emphasised that Maldives should consider GMR proposals to resolve the issues in an amicable manner and facilitate the restoration work as per the solutions offered.