Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL) has fired back at a local news agency "Mihaaru", denying a report alleging the company terminated two senior employees for opposing the handover of the new sea-plane terminal to Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA).
On Monday, "Mihaaru" reported that MACL fired two of their most experienced and senior employees, Deputy Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Hamid Riza and General Manager (Commercial) Mujuthaba Latheef for opposing the handover of the new sea-plane terminal to Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA).
MACL denied these allegations via Twitter on Monday, stating that they "strongly oppose" the article.
Highlighting that the company has a low turn-over rate, MACL stated that no employee has been dismissed over anything related to the seaplane terminal. They also add that any and all terminations carried out by the company have always been impartial.
While MACL has asked Mihaaru news to refrain from perpetuating "false news", the company has yet to confirm or deny the dismissal of the two aforementioned senior employees.
This comes at a time when an audit into the new seaplane terminal has been approved by the 19th Parliament Public Accounts Committee due to allegations of corruption.
As such, a heated exchange took place between Yaugoob Abdulla, the MP for Dhaandhoo constituency, and MACL regarding the matter when Yaugoob accused MACL of already contracting the seaplane terminal to TMA. He warned MACL via Twitter stating that he will not hesitate to hold anyone accountable if the seaplane terminal is contracted to TMA without consideration to any damages incurred against the state. He also added that the Public Accounts Committee will take action once again, in such a scenario.
MACL denied these accusations, claiming that they have not yet decided who will operate the new terminal and that these are all false news stories.
The new seaplane terminal is located at the land behind the Air Traffic Control Tower at Velana International Airport. The terminal is being built by China’s Beijing Urban Construction Group (BUCG) for a total of USD 40 million and will have a four-storey terminal area alongside an arrival lobby, VIP lounges and restaurants. MACL states that the terminal will finish construction and be ready for operation by the second quarter of this year.