The number of international flights to the Maldives in the third quarter (Q3) of this year increased by 15 percent compared to the pre-COVID pandemic period, according to the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA).

MMA’s Quarterly Economic Bulletin outlined that international flights increased by five percent in Q3 this year over the same period last year. This is a 15 percent increase compared to the same period in 2019, before the outbreak, the central bank said.

The increase in flights in Q3 of this year compared to 2022 was due to the increases in frequency by some airlines and the launch of new routes and schedules. FlyDubai, Wizz Air and China Eastern Airlines have increased the frequency of flights.

China’s Sichuan Airlines, initiating flights to the Maldives in the last quarter, has also led to a significant increase in the number of tourists arriving in the Maldives from the Chinese market, MMA observed.

There have been reductions in flights, however, with Qatar Airways and Saudi Arabian Airways choosing to fly to the Maldives less frequently than before.

The MMA also noted that the number of resorts operating in the Maldives increased in Q3 of this year compared to last year. In Q3 2022, there were 164 resorts operating in the country. In 2023 the number had increased to 173.

According to the Ministry of Tourism, 1.7 million tourists have visited the Maldives so far this year with the targeted arrival figure standing at 1.8 million tourists by year’s end. Currently, the top three countries for arrivals are Russia, India and China.