Wednesday, February 27, 2013

■ MAURITIUS: Maldives and Mauritius ink BASA; daily intra island flights slated to begin "before July."

MaldivesMauritius has signed a Bilateral Air Services Agreement with fellow Indian Ocean islanders, the Maldives, at a ceremony held on 26 February in the Mauritian capital, Port Louis. Under the accord, designated carriers from both Mauritius and the Maldives will be able to jointly operate direct flights between Beijing and Mauritius, and Maldives and Mauritius.

Mauritius & MaldivesMauritian Vice-Prime Minister & Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Xavier-Luc Duval signed on behalf of Mauritius while Maldivian Minister of Defense and National Security, Colonel (RTD) Mr Mohamed Nazim signed on behalf of the Maldives.

The signing of the agreement follows the recent visit of VPM Duval in Maldives earlier this year, where both Governments agreed to a bilateral agreement which would result in the establishment of direct airlinks thereby tapping into the emerging Chinese tourism market.

According to its text, the agreement provides for the Mauritian designated carrier, Air Mauritius (MK), along with Maldivian designated carriers, Mega Global Air Services also known as MegaMaldives Airlines (5M) and Island Aviation Services (also known as Maldivian (Q2)), to operate direct flights between Beijing and Mauritius, as well as to provide direct air links to the Maldives. 

Maldivian Airlines
Maldivian Airlines
Seven flights are expected weekly and will be operational before the month of July this year.

In a statement during the signing ceremony, Mr Duval expressed satisfaction that the signing of the agreement adding that it is an historical moment between Mauritius and the Maldives as it would further strengthen relations between the two countries, especially in the area of tourism.

For his part, the Minister of Defense and National Security of the Maldives, Colonel (RTD) Mr Mohamed Nazim, recalled that every year about 80,000 Chinese tourists visit Maldives with the BASA allowing the Maldives to share the market with Mauritius. Besides tourism, Minister Mohamed Nazim added that the direct flight between Mauritius and Maldives will also boost trade between the two neighbours.