12 Airports in Maldives Listed to Make Your Travel Easier

The land of beaches in South Asia, surrounded by the Indian ocean on all its sides - Maldives, is an archipelago containing as many as 1200 tiny islands. Being one of the world's most dispersed nations, it spread over an area of 90,000 sq kms. In such a land, airlines are a boon, connecting the remote islands and reducing the inter-island travel time considerably.

Listed below are all the airports in Maldives with their features and the airline companies operating.

International Airports

1. Velana International Airport

Popularly known as Male International Airport and sometimes Ibrahim Nasir International Airport, Velana International Airport is the largest and busiest airport of the Maldives archipelago. Although there are three other international airports in the country, this is the one that you will most likely use when travelling to the island nation. Contrary to its name, it does not lie on Male Island but lies on Hulhule Island in the North Male Atoll. The airport was first opened on 19 October 1960 as a small airstrip, then was later on upgraded to a domestic and then to an international airport. At present, it is operated by the Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL) and serves as the headquarters of 2 airline companies - Trans Maldivian Airways, which operates seaplanes, and Maldivian, the national airlines of the country. The airport has 3 terminals - one international, one domestic and another water dome for seaplane operations. In fact, the highest number of seaplane operations in the world happen to be from this airport in Maldives.

The capital island Male lies at a distance of 1km the airport and can be easily reached by ferry or speedboat. Ferries are the cheapest and cost around MVR 15 during the daytime when they are available at intervals of 10 to 15 minutes - a surcharge applies at night. On Fridays, however, these are available only till midnight. Ferries to other local islands are not available from the airport but only from Male island. If you are staying at a resort island, then speedboats or seaplanes are the only modes of transport, and these are available from the airport itself.

Airlines in operation
: Some of the major flight carriers operating in the Male International Airport include Maldivian, Emirates, Air Asia, China Eastern Airlines, SriLankan Airlines, etc. These airlines connect the airports in Maldives to major cities of the world like Moscow, Kuala Lumpur, New Delhi, Hong Kong, Singapore, Colombo and also to other islands of the country like Fuvahmulah, Kooddoo, Thimarafushi, Dharavandhoo and others. Out of these, Maldivian and SriLankan Airlines have the maximum number of flight operations.

Services and facilities
: Various types of services and facilities are available at the airport for passengers' convenience. These include ATMs, a branch of the Bank of Maldives, forex counters, pharmacy and health centre, free internet kiosks, baggage storage options, dutyfree shops and food and bite options.


Airport Codes: IATA - MLE and ICAO - VRMM

Male International Airport, Airports in Maldives

2. Gan International Airport

Another international airport in Maldives, this one is much smaller than the Male International Airport, with limited flight operations. It lies on Gan Island in Addu Atoll, 544 km south of Male, and was initially built by the Royal Navy. Being used as a military airbase during the Second World War and for an extended period after that, domestic flight operations in this airport began in 1976, and international flight operations started as recently as 2017. Ownership of the airport shifted hands over the years, and currently, it is managed by the Addu International Airport Pvt. Ltd. The airport has 2 terminals - one is used for both domestic and international flight movements, and the other Executive Terminal is a private terminal used by the Shangri-La's Villingili Resort and Spa for its guests.

The primary transportation from the airport includes taxis. For moving to other resort islands, speedboats have to be used. All resorts and sometimes some guesthouses too arrange for transportation of their guests to and from the airport.

Airlines in operation
: The airlines operating at the Gan International Airport include Flyme and Maldivian with flights to and from Male and other domestic islands like Fuvahmulah, Kooddoo, Kaadedhdhoo and Kadhdhoo. The only international flight carrier operating is SriLankan Airlines connecting Colombo.

Services and facilities
: Some of the services and facilities available at the Gan International Airport include medical facilities, a restaurant and a prayer room for Muslims. Additional facilities in the Executive Terminal include free wifi, televisions and a lounge.

: Addu City

Airport Codes
Gan International Airport, Airports of Maldives

3. Hanimaadhoo International Airport

Hanimaadhoo International Airport in Maldives lies on Hanimaadhoo Island in Haa Dhaalu Atoll, 287 km north of the capital. It is operated by the Maldives Airports Company Limited and has a single asphalt runway for both domestic and international flight operations.

Airlines in operation
: Maldivian is the only flight carrier operating in this airport, connecting Hanimaadhoo to Trivandrum in India and other islands of the Maldives such as Male, Dharavandhoo and Ifuru.

Serves: Haa Dhaalu

Airport Codes: IATA - HAQ and ICAO - VRMH
Hanimaadhoo International Airport, Maldives Airport

4. Villa International Airport

Operated by the Villa Group, Villa International Airport serves as a base for the private airline company Flyme, also known as Villa Air. It lies on Maamigili Island in Alif Dhaalu Atoll, 108 km south-west of Male island. It has a single terminal with a single concrete runway and serves nearly 170,000 passengers annually. The airport has a bank branch and also provides parking facilities. Some of the closest resorts to this airport include Sun Island Resort, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, Centara Grand Island Resort and Spa, etc. For reaching these resorts, speedboats can be used from this airport in Maldives.

Airlines in operation
: Flyme operates scheduled flights to and from various domestic destinations like Male, Gan, Dharavandhoo, Fuvahmulah, etc. Chartered seaplanes also operate from this airport.

Alifu Dhaalu

Airport Codes: IATA - VAM and ICAO - VRMV
Villa International Airport, Airports in Maldives

Domestic Airports

5. Dharavandhoo Airport

Dharavandhoo Airport is a domestic airport in Maldives owned by the Coastline Hotels & Resorts Pvt Ltd and operated by the Island Aviation Services. It lies on Dharavandhoo Island, Baa Atoll, about 115 km north west of Male.

Airlines in operation
: From Dharavandhoo, Flyme and Maldivian have around 8-9 flights daily to and from destinations like Male, Hanimaadhoo and Ifuru.

Baa Atoll

Airport Codes: IATA - DRV and ICAO - VRMD

Dharavandhoo  Airport, Airports of Maldives

6. Kadhdhoo Airport

Kadhdhoo Airport is one of the first domestic airports to be built in the Maldives, in the 1980s for connecting the faraway islands to the capital. It is located on Kadhdhoo Island, around 260 kms away from Malé, and serves the islands in Haddhunmathi Atoll. This airport in Maldives is operated by the Maldives Airports Corporation and has a single runway.

Services and facilities
: Some of the facilities available at the Kadhdhoo Airport include a restaurant, a lounge, a play area for children, mosques, and rooms for passengers to stay.

Airlines in operation
: Flyme and Maldivian operate flights connecting some domestic destinations like Male, Gan, Kaadedhdhoo, Kooddoo, and some others.

Laamu Atoll

Airport Codes

Kadhdhoo  Airport, Maldives Airports

7. Kaadedhdhoo Airport

Opened in 1993, this is another domestic airport in the Maldives, lying on Kaadedhdhoo Island, nearly 340 kms south of Malé. It is operated by the Maldives Airports Corporation and serves the islands in the Huvadhu Atoll. Kaadedhdhoo is basically an uninhabited island, so the only accommodations available are the resorts and guest houses on the nearby islands and they can be reached by speedboat from this airport.

Airlines in operation:
This airport in Maldives has a limited number of flight operations. Maldivian is the only airline operating with flights connecting the islands of Male, Gan and the nearby Kadhdhoo.

Gaafu Dhaalu

Airport Codes: IATA - KDM and ICAO - VRMT
Kaadedhdhoo  Airport, Airports in Maldives

8. Fuvahmulah Airport

Owned and operated by the Government of Maldives, this is a relatively newer domestic airport opened only in 2011. It serves the faraway Fuvahmulah Island, around 500 kms south of Male. The airport is quite small with a single runway and hardly has any facilities. Maldivian and Flyme operate scheduled flights to and from Gan and Male from the Fuvahmulah airport, but flights are sometimes cancelled due to the lack of passengers.

: Gnaviyani

Airport Codes

Fuvahmulah  Airport, Airports of Maldives

9. Dhaalu Airport

The largest and also the newest domestic airport in Maldives, Dhaalu Airport was opened only as recently as 2017. It lies in Kudahuvadhoo Island, on land reclaimed from the lagoon. The airport is owned by Reollo Investments Pvt Ltd and operated by Dhaalu Airport Holdings. It has a pretty large runway that is designed to handle large flights and uses solar energy in some of its operations. The airport has food and bites options, a shop and a VIP lounge for its passengers.

Airlines in operation: Flights connecting the islands of Male, Kaadedhdhoo, Kadhdhoo and Gan, operated by Maldivian, are available from this airport.

Serves: Dhaalu Atoll

Airport Codes
Dhaalu  Airport, Maldives Airport

10. Thimarafushi Airport

Thimarafushi Airport on Thimarafushi Island, Thaa Atoll, lies around 224 kms south of Male. It is a domestic airport constructed by the Maldives Transport and Contracting Company in 2013 and is currently operated by the Island Aviation Services. This airport in Maldives has flights connecting only the island of Male.

Serves: Thaa Atoll

Airport Codes

Thimarafushi  Airport, Airports in Maldives

11. Kooddoo Airport

Another domestic airport in Maldives, Kooddoo Airport was opened in 2012. It lies on Kooddoo Island, Gaafu Alifu Atoll, nearly 384 km south of Male. It is owned by a private company named Bonavista Maldives Pvt Ltd and operated by the Island Aviation Services. Maldivian has flights connecting Kooddoo to Male, Gan and Kadhdhoo.

Serves: Gaafu Alifu

Airport Codes
Kooddoo  Airport, Airports of Maldives

12. Ifuru Airport

Ifuru Airport is a small domestic airport located on the island of Ifuru in Raa Atoll, 177 km north of Male. It was built by the Coastline Investments in 2015 to connect all the islands in the Raa Atoll and Noonu Atoll to the capital. The airport is now operated by the Island Aviation Services. From Ifuru, Male and Dharavandhoo airports can be reached by flights operated by Maldivian.

Serves: Ifaru

Airport Codes
Ifuru  Airport, Maldives Airports

Thus, Maldives has four international airports, one large and three smaller, and eight domestic airports. A particularly fun fact is that some of the islands are so small that it has nothing else but only the airport! So, don't forget to peep in through the windows of the aeroplanes to get spellbinding bird's-eye views of the peninsula and the endless blue ocean, and click many pictures. Once you land at the airport in Maldives, you can get your tourist visa in less than an hour - know about how to get a Maldives Visa for Indians! Happy Holidaying :)

This post was published by Sinorita Naskar

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