K. Male' | Aishath Shaany | 04-March-2017 | Saturday 21:34 | Shaaknee | Business | 1,843
Saudi Arabian Airlines, or Saudia- the Kingdom’s flagship carrier- is to double its flight to the Maldives.
According to Arab News- Saudi Arabia’s first English-language newspaper- Maldives Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Abdulla Hameed has expressed “optimism” over Saudia's plans to double its flights to the Maldives.
With the change, Saudi Arabian Airline will increase its flights from two to four, weekly.
Arab News reported that Hameed had informed them the two additional flights "would originate from Jeddah."
The Ambassador further said that the additional flights “would increase the number of Saudi tourists to the Maldives,” and that it is “encouraging to see the considerable increase in Saudi tourists.”
“In 2015, 15,749 Saudis visited the Maldives, with a 39.5 percent increase last year to 21,944,” Hameed added.
Tourist arrivals reached a record 1.3 million last year, an increase from 2015’s 1.2 million.
The news comes at a time when the public has been expressing concern over the possible sale of an entire atoll to Saudi Arabia. Reports indicate that Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud- who is to visit Maldives this month as part of his Asia tour- is to sign the Faafu Atoll agreement during the visit.
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