The Maldives with its shining calm waters, soft-sand beaches, and rich greenery tropical landscape, has become many travelers’ dream destination. This island nation in the Indian Ocean includes some of the most famous resorts and dive sites, offering travelers a luxurious escape from the everyday. To reach this little slice of paradise, you must pass through one of the country’s domestic or international airports. The Maldives airports provide critical connections allowing you to easily live out your travel dreams. For a convenient travel experience consider all-inclusive Maldives tour packages including flight, resort accommodations, and transfers. Contact the best travel agency in Dubai for cheap Maldives tour packages to make your travel affordable.

Domestic Airports: Island Hopping Across the Archipelago

Spread across 26 coral atolls, the 1,200 islands of the Maldives can make simply wandering around a challenge. Luckily, the country operates several domestic airports providing easy inter-island exploration:

  • Hanimaadhoo Airport
  • Kaadedhdhoo Airport
  • Kadhdhoo Airport
  • Funadhoo Airport
  • Gan Airport
  • Maafaru International Airport
  • Thimarafushi Airport
  • Villa Airport
  • Fuvahmulah Airport
  • Hithadhoo Airport

Of these domestic airports, highlights include Gan Airport in the south serving the Addu Atoll and Maafaru International Airport in the northern Noonu Atoll – one of the Maldives’ newest gateways opened in 2019.

In addition to traditional runway airports, seaplane charters serve, isolated resorts for aerial views and arrivals across the Maldives’ more than 100 private islands catering to tourists. Major carriers like Trans Maldivian Airways operate turboprop aircrafts effortlessly landing on crystal blue waters near luxurious overwater bungalows and beachfront villas via charter flights booked by hotels and guesthouses directly.

International Airports – Unlocking the Gateways to the Maldives

Before getting through the inner islands of Maldives, you’ll first need to enter the Maldives through one of its international airports. While Velana International Airport accounts for nearly all initial tourist arrivals, several secondary international airports mainly serve specific regions, potentially providing more direct routings.

Velana International Airport (MLE)

Velana International is the main international airport serving the Maldives archipelago. It’s located on Hulhulé Island just across the water from the capital city Male in North Kaafu Atoll. As the primary entry and exit point into the islands, it handles over 7 million passengers annually on flights connecting to major transportation hubs across Asia and the Middle East. It has direct air links to popular tourist destinations in India, China, Thailand, Turkey and the UAE amongst others.

Gan International Airport (GAN) 

Based on Gan Island in Addu Atoll, Gan International Airport primarily serves domestic flights within the southern atolls along with some international routes to neighboring countries. Its history is related to the British Royal Air Force base called RAF Gan. Today it operates as the second international airport for the Maldives, providing important connectivity for the remote southern islands.

Hanimaadhoo International Airport (HAQ)

As a domestic and regional transport hub, Hanimaadhoo International Airport connects the more remote northern atolls of the Maldives to the population centers in Central and Southern areas. Based on Hanimaadhoo Island in Haa Dhaalu Atoll, it mainly operates direct scheduled flights to and from Velana International serving both residents and visitors. Hanimaadhoo’s newly upgraded runway and passenger terminal now provide increased capacity.

Maafaru International Airport (MFM)

Opened in 2019, Maafaru International Airport aims to improve access to the northern Noonu Atoll in the Maldives. Located on the small inhabited island of Maafaru, it operates daily scheduled flights to and from the capital region via Velana International Airport. As the northern atolls continue to grow as a tourism destination, Maafaru provides a critical transportation link both domestically and for international visitors.

Kooddoo Airport (GKK) 

A small domestic airport located on the small island of Kooddoo in Alif Alif Atoll, Kooddoo Airport primarily serves the local islands and tourist resorts. It operates regular direct scheduled flights to and from Velana International Airport, allowing visitors and residents fast access to the capital and international transit hubs. While Kooddoo itself has a population under 500, this critical local infrastructure helps bring tourism and economic growth to remote regions.

Unlock the Beauty of the Maldives By Air

While most first-time visitors commence their dream Maldives tour packages via Velana International Airport, often travelers can consider reaching Maldives through alternative airports like Maafaru and Gan to unlock direct access to specific atolls. Contact the best travel agency in Dubai to know which airports provide the most efficient pathway to the paradise of your dreams, whether relaxing at an isolated resort, exploring local culture on an inhabited island, or embarking on a liveaboard scuba adventure.