Island Aviation Services Ltd. (IAS), the operator of Maafaru International Airport, has invited expressions of interest (EOI) to develop and operate a 50-bed airport hotel on the airport. The invitation extends to both local and foreign entities.

Maafaru Airport, situated on Maafaru Island in Noonu Atoll, provides international and domestic flight services. Developing an airport hotel in Maafaru aligns with IAS’s objective to augment airport facilities and stimulate economic growth in the region.

IAS has expressed openness to various business models that foster collaborative and mutually beneficial partnerships. The selection approach will prioritise proposals that align with organisational objectives, demonstrate the experience and track record of the operator and developer/contractor, highlight the strengths of the proposed team, and showcase their financial and operational capabilities, IAS said in a statement.

EOIs can be submitted via email until 2 p.m. on 21 April 2024, local time, it said. The proposed hotel location is an approximately 4,000-square-metre area on the northern beachfront of the airport.

Maafaru Airport, the second busiest in the Maldives, accommodates the highest number of private jets in the country, with an annual average of 700 private jets. The airport, developed with US$60 million funding from the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, features a 2,300-metre runway capable of accommodating Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 aircraft.

In 2023, the Ibrahim Mohamed Solih administration contracted the Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC) to expand the airport to accommodate Boeing 777 aircraft. Once completed, this expansion is expected to stimulate economic activity in the Noonu Atoll region.