Maldives Airports Company Limited

MACL to create Covid-19 'safe corridor' concept at VIA

  • To achieve this Covid safe corridor MACL requires access to new, fast-testing technologies that are emerging
  • "This is an emerging trend across all airports in the world"
  • There is light at the end of the tunnel but only after a vaccine is globally deployed

K. Male' 2020 Sep 28 | Mon 04:33 local 4,013

MACL's CEO and Managing Director, Gordon Andrew Stewart - Archive

Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL) has announced plans to create a Covid-19 “safe corridor” concept within Velana International Airport (VIA).

This was announced by the company’s CEO and Managing Director, Gordon Andrew Stewart during a ceremony held on Sunday night to commemorate the ‘World Tourism Day’, annually celebrated on September 27, during which the ‘Maldives Border Miles’ program was launched.

It is a great honor to be a part of this new initiative and key stakeholder. Maldives Border Miles program is the first of its kind in an innovative way to attract travelers to the Maldives. I thank the Honorable minister of tourism Dr. Abdulla Mausoom for inaugurating this program. This is indeed a great initiative for the 50th anniversary of the world tourism. The covid-19 pandemic has sadly already proved devastation globally both in health and economically. While we're all affected two of the hardest hit sectors, aviation and tourism sectors, these are the two major sectors which Maldives has and will continue to rely on to support people and its economy”

~ Gordon Andrew Stewart, CEO and Managing Director of MACL

Highlighting that VIA has experienced a drastic plunge in passenger arrivals because of the country having closed off its borders temporarily and the global travel restrictions, since February 2020, Stewart noted that he was impressed by how quickly the island nation was able to take action against the pandemic situation, "despite the difficult times".

The company’s CEO announced that plans are underway to carry out work to establish a world that, at this stage the company will believe based on a research, that will exist for the next year or so or until a vaccine is administered globally.

Shedding light on the many precautionary measures and preventive steps taken at VIA in line with both International and Maldives health protection agency guidelines, Stewart assured that MACL has taken all the necessary steps to maintain VIA as a safe airport for travelers as safety remains the company’s utmost priority. MACL also wants to build traveler confidence and create positivity.

A proud Stewart went on to note that VIA achieved the industry ACI International health accreditation certification on August 29, being the second airport in the Asia Pacific region and the third in the world to attain the certification.

Assuring that MACL continues to focus on doing everything possible to encourage both airlines and tourist flights to the Maldives, Stewart announced that MACL is about to embark on their next ambitious plan.

To create a Covid safe corridor concept within our airport, a concept that will rely heavily on our ability to carry out fast and regular testing all of our customer-facing staff in the airport. To achieve this Covid safe corridor we require access to new fast testing technologies that are emerging and ability to test support staff for covid-19 antibodies. This is an emerging trend across all airports in the world. We will also require huge amount of coordination among every stakeholder at the airport working both in the airport and the tourism sector.”

~ Gordon Andrew Stewart, CEO and Managing Director of MACL

Further details will be provided by the company in the coming weeks or months, revealed Stewart.

Noting that MACL has observed a gradual increase in passenger arrivals since border reopening, Stewart stated that they expect it to continue gradually.

The optimistic MACL CEO went on to state that “there is light at the end of the tunnel”, but only after a vaccine is deployed globally.

Hence, we need to focus our efforts in implementing new initiatives during these Covid coexisting times, like Maldives Border Miles initiative, and hopefully our Covid safe corridor concept. I look forward to providing and receiving everybody's support during these challenging times and I would like to congratulate stakeholders in achieving this milestone. And I thank the minister of tourism again for inaugurating the Maldives border miles program.”

~ Gordon Andrew Stewart, CEO and Managing Director of MACL.

Last updated at: 1 month ago | Reviewed by: Abdulla Naseer Ibrahim

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